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SHOWELL^S 

Dictionary of Birminghani. 




A HISTORY AND GUIDE, 

Arranged Alphabetically, 

Containing Thousands of Dates and References to Matters of 
Interest connected with the Past and Present History of the Town- 
its PubHc Buildings, Chapels, Churches and Clubs— its Friendly 
Societies and Benevolent Associations, Philanthropic and Philosophical 
Institutions — its Colleges and Schools, Parks, Gardens, Theatres, and 
Places of Amusement — its Men of Worth and Noteworthy Men, 
Manufactures and Trades, Population, Rates, Statistics of progress, 

&c., &c. 

Compiled by Thos. T, Harman, Author of "The Local Book 
of Dates," " Notes and Records," &c., 

FOR THE PROPRIETORS— 

WALTER SHOWELL & SONS, 

CROSS .J* WELLS BREWERY, OLDBURY. 

Head Offices: 157, GT. 6HARLES STREET, BIRMINGHAM. 

BIRMINGHAM : 

Printed by J. G. Hammond & Co., 136-13S, Edmund Street; and Published liy 

CORNISH BROTHERS, NEW STREET. 



Gross Collection 
Bus. Adm. Lib. 

DA 



H)ictionar^ of Birmingbam. 



?*^ 



NOTES OF BIRMINGHAM IN THE PAST. 



BipminTham to the Seventh 

CentUPy. — Wo have no record or 
traces wliatevev of there being inliabi- 
tants in this neighbourliood, thougli 
there can be little doubt that in the 
time Of the invasion of the Romans 
some British strongliolds were within 
a few miles of the place, sundry remains 
having been found to show tnat many 
battles had been fought near here. If 
residents there were prior to King 
Edward the Confessor's reign, they 
would probably be of Gkrrth's tribe, and 
their huts even Hutton, antiquarian 
and historian as lie was, failed to lind 
traces of. How the name of this our 
dwelling-place came about, nobody 
knows. Not less than twelve dozen 
ways have been found to spell it ; ascore 
of different derivations '"discovered" 
for it ; and guesses innumerable given 
as to its origin, but we still wait for 
the information re(|nired. 

Biraiingham in the Con- 

quei'OP's Days. — The Manor was 
held, in 1066, by Alwyne, son of 
Wigod the Dane, who married the sister 
of the Saxon Leofric, Earl of JMercia. 
According to "Domesday Book," in 
1086, it was tenanted by Richard, who, 
held, under William Fitz-Ansculf, and 
included four hides of land and half-a- 
mile of wood, worth 20s. ; there were 
150 acres in cviltivation, with but nine 
residents, five villeins, and four bor- 
darers. In 1 181 there.werelS freeholders 
(Ubere tencntcs) in Birmingham culti- 
vating 667 acres, and 35 tenants in 
demesne, holding 158 acrei, the whole 
value being £13 Ss. 2d. 



Bipming-ham in the Feudal 

PePiod. — The number of armed men 
furnished by this town for Edward 
III.'s wars were four, as compared with 
six from \yarwick, an 'I forty from 
Coventry. 

Bipming-ham in the Time of 
the Edwapds and Happys. — The 

Manor passed from the Bermingham 
family in 1537, through the knavish 
trickery of Lord L'Isle, to whom it was 
granted in 1545. The fraud, however, 
was not of much service to the noble 
rascal, as he was beheaded for treason 
in 1553. In 1555 the Manor was given 
by Queen Mary to Thomas Marrow, of 
Berkswell. 

Bipming-ham in 1538.— Leland, 

who visited here about this date, says 
in his " Itinerary " — " There be many 
smithies in tlie towne that use to make 
knives and all manner of cutlery tooles, 
and many lorimers that make Inttes, 
and a great many naylors, so that a 
great part of the towne is maintained 
by smithes, who have their iron and 
seacole out of Stafforiishire. " He de- 
scribes the town as consisting of one 
street, about a quarter of a mile long, 
" a pretty street or ever I enterd," 
and "this street, as I remember, is 
called Dirtey. " 

Bipming-ham in 1586.— Camden 

in his " Britaunica, " published this 
year, speaks of " Bremicham, swarm- 
ing with inhabitants, and echoing with 
the noise of anvils, for the most part 
of them are smiths. " 

Birmingham in 1627.— Ina book 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



issue<l at Oxford this year mention is 
made of " Breiiiinchani inhabited with 
blacksmiths, and forging sundry kinds 
of iron utensils." 

Birmingham in 1635.— As show- 
ing the status the town hekl at this 
date we find that it was assessed for 
"ship money" by Charles I. at £100, 
the same as Warwick, while Sutton 
Coldfieki had to find £80 and Coventry 
£266. 

Birmingham in 1656.— Dugdale 

speaks of it as "being a place very 
eminent for most commodities made of 
iron." 

Birmingham in 1680-90.— 

Macanlay s-aj's : The ])0)nilatiun ot Bir- 
mingham was only 4,000, and at that 
day nobody had heard of Birmingham 
guns. He also says there was not a 
single regular shop where a Bible or 
almanack could be bought ; on market 
daj's a bookseller named Micliael John- 
son (lather of the great Samuel Johnson) 
came over from Lichfield and opened a 
stall for a few hours, and this supply 
was equal to the demand. The gun 
trade, however, was introduced here 
very soon after, for there is still in 
existence a warrant from the Oliice of 
Ordnance to " pay to John Smart for 
Thomas Hadley and the rest of tlie 
Ciunmakers of Birmingham, one deben- 
ture of tt'our-score and sixteen pouudes 
and eighteen shillings, dated ye 14th 
of July, 1690." — Alexander Missen, 
visiting this town in his travels, said 
that ' ' swords, heads of canes, snuff- 
boxes, and other fine works of steel," 
conld be had " cheaper and better here 
than even in famed Milan." 

Birmingham in 1691.— The au- 
thor of " The New State of England," 
published this year, says: " Bromichau 
drives a good trade in iron and steel 
wares, saddles and bridles, whicli find 
good vent at London, Ireland, and 
otlier parts." By another writer, 
" Bromicham " is described as " a large 
and well-built town, very populous, 
much resorted to, and particularly 



noted a few years ago for the counter- 
feit groats made liere, and dispersed all 
oven the kingdom." 

Birmingham in 1731.— An old 

"Koad-book" of this date, says that 
" Birmingham, Bromicham, or Bremi- 
cham, is a large town, well built and 
populous. The inliabitants, being 
mostly smiths, are ver}' ingenious in 
their waj^, and vend vast quantities of 
all .lorts of iron wares." The first map 
of the town (Westley's) was published 
in this year. It showed the Manor- 
house on an oval island, about 126 
yards long by 70 yards extreme 
width, su'-rounded by a moat about 
twelve yards broad. Paradise Street 
was then but a road through the 
fields ; Easy Hill (now Easy Row), 
Summer Hill, Newhall Hill, Ludgate 
Hill, Constitution Hill, and Snow Hill 
pleasant pastures. 

Birmingham in 1750.— Brad- 
ford's plan of the town, published in 
1751, showed a walk by Kea side, 
where lovers could take a pleasanr. 
stroll from Heath Mill Lane. The 
country resideoces at Mount Pleasant 
(now Ann Street) were surrounded 
with gardens, and it was a common 
practice to dry clothes on the hedges in 
Snow Hill. In "England's Gazetteer," 
published about this date, Birming- 
ham or Bromichan is said to be "a 
large, well-built, and populous town, 
noted for tbe most ingenious artificers 
in boxes, buckles, buttons, and other 
iron and steel wares ; wherein such 
multitudes of people are employed that 
they are sent all over Europe ; and 
here is a continual noise of hammers, 
anvils, and files." 

Birmingham in 1765.— Lord and 

Lady Shelburne visited here in 1765. 
Her ladyship kept a diary, and in it 
she describes Mr. Baskerville's liouse 
(Easy Row) as " a pretty place out of the 
town." She also mentions visiting a 
Quaker's to see "the making of guns. " 

Birmingham in 1766.— In « A 

NewTour ihrougli England," by George 



SHOWELl's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



Baaumont, Esq., and Capt. Henry 
Disney, airniiugha-n is described as 
"a verv large populous town, the 
upper part of which stands dry on the 
side ot a hill, but the lower is watry, 
and inhabited by the meaner sort of 
]ieople. They are employed here in 
tiio Iron Works, in which they are 
such ingenious artificers, that their 
]>erformances in the sniallwares of iron 
and steel are admired both at home 
and abroad. 'Tis much improved of 
late years, both in public and private 
buildings." 

Birmingham in 1781.— Huttou 

published his "History of Birming- 
ham " this year. He estimated that 
there were tlien living ninety- four 
townsmen who were each worth over 
£5,000; eighty worth over £10,000 ; 
seventeen worth over £20.000 ; eight 
worth over £30,000 ; seven worth over 



£50,000 ; and three at least worth over 
£100,000 each. 

Bipmingham in 1812.— The ap- 
pearance of the town then would be 
strange indeed to those who know but 
the Birmingham of today. Many 
half-timbered houses remained in the 
Bull Ring and cows grazed near where 
the Town Hall uow stands, there being 
a farmhouse at the back of the site of 
Christ Church, then being built. Re- 
cruiting parties paraded tlie streets 
with fife and drum almost daily, and 
when the London mail came in with 
news of some victory in Spain it was 
no uncommon thing for the workmen 
to take the horses out and drag the 
coach up the Bull Ring amid the cheers 
of the crowd. At night the streetg 
were patrolled by watchmen, with rat- 
tles and lanterns, who called the hours 
aud the weather. 



A B House, so called from the 
initials inscribed thereon to show tlie 
division of the ])arishes of Aston and 
Birmingham near to Deritend Bridge. 
Early in 1SS3 part of the foundations 
were uncovered, showing that the old 
building \\%.s raised on wooden piles, 
when the neigiibourhood was little 
better than a swamp. 

ABC Time Table was first issued 
in July, 1853. A rival, called the 
"X Y Z Time Table," on a system 
that was to make all the puzzles of 
Bradshavv as plain as pikestaves, was 
brought out in August, 1877, but it re- 
(|uired such extra wise heads to under- 
.stand its simplicity that before one 
could be found the whole thing was 
lost, the old Alpha being preferred to 
the new Omega. 

Accidents and Accidental 

Deaths are of constant occurrence. 
Those here noted are but a few which, 
from their peculiar nature, have been 
placed on record for I'eference. 

A woman fell in Pudding Brook, 
.June 3, 1794, and was drowned in the 
puddle. 

In 1789, a Mr. Wright, a patten- 



maker, of Digbeth, attempted to cross 
the ohl bridge over tlie Rea, fell in and 
was " smothered in the mud." 

The Bridge in Wheeley's Road was 
burst up by flood waters, November 
26, 1853. 

Five men were killed by the fall of a 
scaffold in New Street Station, Oct. 11, 
1862. 

A lady was accidently shot in 
Cheapside, Nov. 5, 1866. 

Pratt, a marker at Bournebrook 
Rille Range, was shot April 12, 1873. 

The body of a man named Thomas 
Bishop who had fallen in a midden in 
Oxford Street, was found Oct. 3, 1873. 

Charles Henry Porter, surgeon, Aug. 
10, 1876, died from an overdose of 
prussic acid taken as a remedy. 

Richard Riley was killed by the 
bursting of a sodawater bottle, June 
19, 1877. 

Alfred Mills drowned in a vinegar 
vat at the Brewery in Glover Street, 
March 7, 1878. 

Two gentlemen (Messrs. W. Arnold 
and G. Barker), while on a visit of in- 
spection at Sandwell Park Colliery, 
Nov. 6, 1878, were killed by falling 
from the cage. Two miners, father and 



SHOWKLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



son, were killed by a fall of coal in the 
followii)g week. 

A water main, 30 inches diameter, 
burst in Wheeler Street, June 17, 1879. 

On the night of Sep. 5, 1880, Mrs. 
Kingham, lanillady of the "Hen and 
Cliicken-s," fell through a doorway on 
tiie third storey landing into the yard, 
dying a few hours after. The doorway 
was originally intended to lead to a 
gallery of the Aquarium then proposed 
to be built at the back of the hotel. 

January 12th, 1881. --A helper in 
the menagerie at Sanger's Exhibition, 
then at liingley Hall, was attacked 
and seriously injured by a lion, whose 
den he was cleaning out. The animal 
was beaten off by tlie keeper, the said 
keeper, Alicamoosa (?) himself being 
attacked and injured a lew days after 
by the same animal. 

A child of 17 months fell on to a 
sewer grating in River Street, May 28lh, 
1881, and died from the effects of hot 
steam arising therefrom, neighbouring 
manufacturers pouring their waste 
boiler water into the sewers. 

Accidental Deaths by Drown- 
ing". — Five persons were drowned at 
Soho Pool, on Christmas Day, 1822, 
through the ice breaking under them. 

In 1872, John Jerromes lost his life 
while trying to save a boj' who had 
fallen into Fazeley Street Canal. £200 
subscriptions were raised for his wife 
and family. 

A boat upset at the Reservoir, April 
11, 1873, when one life was lost. 

Boat upset at Kirby's Pools, whereby 
one Lawrence Joyce was drowned. 
May 17, 1875. Two men were also 
drowned here July 23, 1876. 

Three boys, and a young man named 
Hodgetts, who attempted to save them, 
were drowntd, Jan 16, 1876, at Green's 
Hole Pool, Garrison Lane, through 
breaking of the ice. 

Arthur, 3rd son of Sir C. B. Adder- 
ley, was drowned near Blair Athol, 
July 1, 1877, aged 21. 

Four boys were drowned at the 
Reservoir, July 26, 1877. 

Two children were drowned in the 



Rea at Jakeman's Fields, May 30, 
1878. 

Rev. S. Fiddian, a Wesleyau Minis- 
ter, of this town, aged nearly 80, was 
drowned while bathing at Barmouth, 
Aug. 4, 1880. 

A Mrs. Satchvvell was drowned at 
Earlswood, Feb. 3, 1883, though a 
carrier's cart falling over the embank- 
ment into the Reservoir in the dusk of 
the evening. The hor^e shared the fate 
of the lady, but the driver escaped. 

Accidental Death fpom Elee- 

tPieity. — Jan. 20, IS8O, a musician, 
named Augustus Biedermann, took 
liold of two joints of the wires supply- 
ing the electric lights of the Holte 
Tlieatre, and receiving nearly the full 
force of the 40-horse power battery, was 
killed on the spot. 

Accidents fpom Fallen Build- 
ings. — A house in Snow Hill fell 
Sept. 1, 1801, when four persons were 
killed. 

During the raising of the roof of 
Town Hall, John Heap was killed by 
the fall of a principal (Jan. 26, 1833), 
and Wm. Badger, injured same tiuK , 
died a few weeks after. Memorial 
stone in St. Philip's Churchyard. 

Welch's pieshop, Temple Street, fell 
in, March 5, 1874. 

Two houses fell in Great Lister Street, 
Aug. 18, 1874, and one in Lower 
Windsor Street, Jan. 13, 1875. 

Three houses collapsed in New Sum- 
mer Street, April 4, 1875, when one 
person was killed, and nine others 
injured. 

Four houses fell in Tauter Street, 
Jan. 1, 1877, when a boy was lamed. 

Two men were killeii, and several 
injured, by chimney blown down at 
Deykiu k Sons, Jeunens Row, Jan. 30, 
1877, and one nun was killed by wall 
blown down in Harborne Road, Feb. 
20, same year. 

Some children playing about a row of 
condemned cottages. Court 2, Gem 
Street, Jan. 11, 1885, contrived to pull 
part on to their heads, killing one, and 
injuring others. 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Accidents from Pipe.— February, 

1S75, was ail unl'ortuiiate month for 
the females, an old woman benig burnt 
to death on the 5th, a middle-aged one 
on the 7th, and a J'oung one on the 
12th 

Accidents through Lightning". 

— A boy was struck dead at liordeslej' 
Green, July 30, 1871. Two men, 
William Harvey and James Steadman, 
were similirlv killed at Chester Street 
Wharf, May "14, 1879. Harvey was 
f )llowed to the grave by a procession of 
white-smocked navvies. 

Accidents at Places of Amuse- 

nont. — A sudden j)anic and alarm of 
li.c caused several deatlis and many in- 
juries at the Spread Eigle Concert Hall, 
liiill Ring, May 5, 1855. 

The " Female Hlondin " was killed 
by falling Irom the high rope, at Aston 
r.irk, July 20, 1863. 

A trajieze gymnast, "Fritz," was 
killed at Day's Concert Hall, Nov. 12, 
1870. 

A boy was killed by falling from the 
Gillerv at the Theatre Rnal, Feb. 16, 
1873. ' 

At Holder's Concert Hall, April 1, 
1879, Alfred Bishop (12) had his leg 
broken while doing the ''Shooting 
Star " trick. 

Accidents in the Streets.— On 

New Year's Day, 1745, a man was 
killed by a wagon going over him, 
owing to the "steepness" of Carr's 
Lane. 

The Shrewsbury coach was upset at 
Hockley, May 24, 1780, when several 
passengers were injured. 

The Ciiester mail coach was upset, 
April 15, 1787, while rounding the 
Welsh Cross, and several persons much 
injured. 

Feb. 28, 1875, must be noted as the 
" slippery day," no less than Corty jier- 
sons (twelve with broken ii:ubs), being 
taken to the H )spitals through falling 
in the icy streets. 

CaptainTiiornton waskilled by being 
thrown from his carriage, Maj' 22,1876. 



The Coroner's van was upset in 
Livery Street, Jan. 24, 1881, and .seve- 
ral jurymen injured. 

Accidents on the Rails.— An 

accident occurred to the Birmingham 
express train at Shipton, on Christmas 
Eve, 1874, wlierpby 26 jiersons were 
killed, and 180 injured In the ex- 
citement at Snow Hill Station, a young 
woman was pushed undei a train and 
lost both her legs, though her life was 
saved, and she now h as artificial 
lower limbs. 

Police-officer Kimberley was killed 
in the crush at Olton Station on the 
Race Day, Feb. 11th, 1875. 

While getting out of carriages, 
while the train was in motion, a man 
waskilled at New- Street Station, May 
15, 1875, a!id on the 18:h, another at 
Snow Hill, and though such accidents 
occur almost weekl\-, on some line or 
other, people keep on doing it. 

Three men were killed on the line 
near King's Norton, Sept. 28, 1876. 

]\lr. Pipkin-:, Stationmaster at "Win- 
son Green, was killeil Jan. 2. 1877. 

Inspector Bellamy, for 30 years at 
New Street Station, fell while crossing 
a carriage, and was killed, April 15, 
1879. 

AeOCk's Green, a few years bick 
only a little village, is last becoming a 
thriving suburban town. The old 
estate, of alxuit 150 acres, was lotted 
out for building in 1839, the sale being 
then conducted by Messrs. E. and C. 
Robbins, August 19. The Public Hall, 
which cost about £3,000, was opened 
December 20, 1878 ; its principal room 
being 74 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 
feet liigh. 

Adderley. — Sir Charles B.Ailderley 
was gazetted a peer April 16, 1878, his 
title being Baron Norton, of Norton- 
ou-the-iluors, Staffordshire. 

Adderley Park was opened Aug. 

30, 1856. Its area is 10a. Or. 22p., 
and the Corporation hold it as tenants 
under a 999 years' lease, at 5s. rental. 
A Reading Room and l^ranch Library 
was opened on Jan. 11, 1864, 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



Advertisements.— The duty on 

advertisements in newspapers was 
abolished Aug. 4, 185-3. One of the most 
attractive styles of advertising was that 
adopted by Messrs. Walter Showell 
and Son, August 30, 1881, when Tlic 
Birmingham Daily Post gave up a 
whole page for the firm's use. 10,000 
copies weie sent to their customers by 
early post on day of publication. 

Afghan WaP,— A stormy " town's 
meeting " on this subject was held in 
the Town Hall, Dec. 3, 1878, memo- 
rable for the interference of thepoliceby 
order of the Mayor, and the proceed- 
ings conseipieut thereon 

Agrieultupal Laboupeps.— Jos. 

Arch, their ehaniiiion, addressed a 
meeting in their behalf at Town Hall, 
Dec. IS, 1873, and other meetings were 
held April 15 and July 3 i'ollowing, 
A collection made for some of the 
labourers on strike amounted to £137 
9s. 2id. 

Ag-pieultUPal Shows.— The War- 
wickshire Agricultural Show (with the 
Birmingham Horse Show, and the Rose 
Show) began at Aston, June 17, li>73. 
The first exhibition here of the Royal 
Agricultural Society took place July 
19-24, 1876, in Aston Park, specially 
granted by the Corporation. — See 
CaWc Slio'ivs, <i-c. 

Albion Metal, tin rolled on lead, 
much used for making " lace," &c. , for 
collin decoratisn, was introduced in 
1804, being the invention of Tliomas 
Dobbs, a comic actor, then engaged at 
the Tlieatre Royal. He Wi»s also the 
designer of a reaping machine, and 
made one and showed it with real corn 
for his " Benefit " on tlie stage of the 
Theatre Royal in 1815. 

AleesteP Tarni)ike road was first 
used in 1767. 

AldePmen.— See Corporation. 

Ales and Alehouses were known 

in this country nearly 1,200 years ago, 
but the national beverage was not taxed 
until 1551, a few years previous to 



which (1535) hops were first used in 
place of wormwood, &c. In 1603 it 
was enacted that not more than Id. 
(equal to 9d. value now) should be 
charged per quart for the best ale or 
beer, or for two quarts of the " smaller " 
sort. An additional excise duty was 
imposed on ale and beer in 1643. See 
also Brevxrics. 

Almanacks.— The first English - 
printed Almanack was for the 3'ear 
1497, and the London Stationers' Com- 
pany had the monopolj' of printing 
them for nearly 300 years. The iir.'-t 
locally printed Almanack was the 
" Diaiia Britannica" (or "British 
Diary"), by Messrs. Pearson and Rol- 
lason, issued in 1787 for 1788, at 9u. 
per copj', in addition to the Is. 6d. re- 
quired for stamp duty. It was barelj' 
half the size and not a tenth the value 
of the " Diary " published by Messrs 
Walter Showell and Sons, and of which 
20,000 copies are given away annually. 
The stamp duty was removed from Al- 
manacks in 1834. ■' Showell's Alma- 
nack" in past years was highly esteemed 
before we had been supplied with 
"Moody's," the "Red Book, "&c., and 
a co[)y of it for the year 1839 is valuable 
as a curiosity, it being issued with a 
partly printed page with blanks left 
for the insertion of the names of the 
membeis of the Corporation, whoso 
first election under the cliarter of in- 
corporation was about to take place. 
To prevent any mistake, the "Esqrs. " 
were carefully printed in where the 
names of the new Aldermen were to g(>, 
the blanks for Councillors being only 
honoured with a "Mr." 

Almshouses for Lendi's Trust were 
built ill Steelhouse Lane in 1764. In 
later years othersets of houses have been 
built 111 Couybere Street, Hospital 
Street, Ravenhurst Street, and La,dy- 
wood Road, the inmates, all women, 
numbering 132. Jas. Dowell's Alms- 
houses in Warner Street, consisting of 
20 houses and a chapel, known as liie 
" Retreat," were built in 1820. Mrs. 
Glover's Almshouses in Steelhouse Lane 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



for 36 aged women, were erected in 
1832. James Lloyd's twenty-Four 
Almshouses in Belgrave Street were 
erected in 1869. 

Aluminium. — This valuable mate- 
rial for the use of one of our staple 
trades was first obtained by a German 
I chemist in 1837, but was not produced 
in sufficient quantity for manufacturing 
purposes until 1854, at which time its 
market value was 60s. per oz. It 
gradually cheapened, until it is now 
priced at 5s., and a compiny has lately 
been formed for its more easy manu- 
facture, who promise to supply it at 
about as many pence. 

Amphitheatres.- Astley's cele- 
brated am|iliitliealre was brought here 
in October, 1787. Mr. and xMrs. Astley 
themselves had performed in Birming- 
ham as euly as 1772. — A local amphi- 
theatre was opened in Livery Street in 
1787, on the present site of Messrs. 
liilling's printing works. After the 
riots of 1701 it was used for a time by 
the congregations of Old and Now 
Meetiiii:, wiiile their own chapels were 
being rebuilt. An attempt to bring it 
back to its old uses failed, and "the 
properties" were sold Nov. 25.1795. 
Several sects occupied it in after years, 
the last being the Latter-Day Saints. 
It was taken down in 1848. — Another 
amphitheatre was opened at Bingley 
Hall, Ddcember 29, 1853, by the plucky 
but unlucky John Tonks, a well-known 
caterer for the public's amusement. 

Amusement, Places of —Notes of 
the Tlieatres, Concert Halls, Parks, 
&c., will be found under the several 
headings. Among the most popular 
series of concerts of late years have 
been those of a Saturday evening (at 
3d. admission) in the Town Hall, which 
began on N 'V. 8, 1879, and are con- 
tinued to present date. 

Analyst. — Dr. Hill was appointed 
Borough Analyst in Feb., 1861, his 
duties being to examine and test any 
sample of food or drinks that may be 
brought or sent to him in order to 



prove their purity or otherwise. The 
fees are limited to a scale ap[)roved liy 
the Town Council. 

Ancient History of Birmingham 

can hardly be said to e.xist. Its rise 
and progress is essentially modern, 
and the few notes that have come to 
us respecting its early history will bo 
found brieHy summarised at the com- 
mencement of this book. 

Anti-Bopough-Rate Meeting-.— 

In 1874 the Town Council asked lor 
power to lay a Borough-rate exceeding 
2s. in tlie £. , but after three day.s' 
polling (ending March 30) permission 
was refused by a majority of 2,654 
votes. The power was obtained after- 
wards. 

Anti - Church - Rate Meeting's 

were fi'eijuunt enough at one [leriod of 
our histcny. The two most worthy of 
remembiauce were those of Dec. 15, 
1834, when the rate was refused by a 
majijrity of 4,966 votes, and Oct. , 1841, 
when the jiolling showed 626 for the 
rate and 7,281 against. 

Anti-Corn-Law Meeting's were 

also numerous. The one to recollect 
is that held Feb. 18, 1842. 

Anti-Papal Demonstration.— 

A town's meeting took place in the 
Town Hall, Doc. 11, 1850, to protest 
against the assumption of ecclesiastical 
titles by the Catholic hierarchy. About 
8,000 persons were present, and the 
"No Popery" element was str(nig, 
but Joseph Sturge moved an amend- 
ment for freedom to all parties, which 
so split the votes that the Mayor saiil 
the amendment was not carried and 
the resolution was lost 

Anti-Slavery.— The first Anti- 
Slavery meeting held here was that of 
Nov. 27, 1787. A local ]>etition to 
Parliament against the slave trade was 
presented to the House of Commons, 
Feb. 11, 1788. A local society was 
formed here in 1826, Joseph Sturge 
being secretary, and many nn^etings 
Wire held before the Da} ot Abolition 



8 



SHOWELL.S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



was celebrated. The most noteworthy 
of these was that at Dee's Assembly 
Room, April 16, 1833, wlien G. F. 
Minitz and the Political Union opposed 
the agitation ; a great meeting, Oct. 
14, 1835 ; another on Feb. 1, 1836, in 
which Daniel OConnell and John 
Angell James took jiart. This last was 
the first largo town's meeting at which 
the "total and immediate" abolition 
of slavery was demanded. Joseph 
Sturge following it up by going to the 
West Indies and reporting tlie hard- 
ships inflicted upon the blacks under 
the "gradual" system then in opera- 
tion. Aug. 7, 1838, the day when 
s avery dro})ped its chains on English 
ground, was celebrated here by a chil- 
dren's festival in the Town Hall, by 
laying the i'oundation-stone of " The 
Negro Emancipation Schools," Legge 
Street, and by a public meeting at 
night, at which Sir Eardlej^ Wilniott, 
D. O'Connell, Dr. Lushington, Edward 
Baines, &c. , were present. 

Anti-one -thingr-op-t'othep.— 

True to their motto, Birmingham 
people are always readj' to oppose tlie 
wrong and forward tlie right, but what 
is riglit and what wrong is only to be 
ascertained by public discussion, and 
a few dates of celebrated " talks " are 
here given : — 

In 1719 the apprenticing of Russian 
youths to local trades was objected to. 

In the Christinas week of 1754 public 
))rotest was made against the tax on 
wheel carriages. 

March 12, 1824, a deputation was 
sent to Parliament to protest against 
our workmen beingallowed to emigrate, 
for fear they should teach the foreign- 
ers. 

A proposed New Improvement Bill 
was vetoed by the burgesses, Dec. 18, 
1855. We have improved a little since 
then ! 

An Anti-Confessional meeting was 
held Nov. 8, 1877. 

An Anti-Contagious Diseases Act 
meeting, April 19, 1877. 

Au Anti-giving-up-Fugitive-Slave 



meeting, Jan. 1, 1876, when a certain 
Admiralty Circular was cmidemued. 

An Anti-Irish -Church -Establishment 
meeting was held June 14, 1869. 

An Anti-moving-the-Cattle Market 
meeting Dec. 14, 1869, Smithfield 
being preferred to Dmldeston Hall. 

An Anti -Rail waj'-thiough -Sutton- 
Park meeting, April 15, 1872, but the 
railway is there. 

An Anti- Rotten - Shijj-and - S lilor- 
drowning meeting, with ilr. Plimsoll 
to the fore, May 14 1873. Another 
July 29, 1875. 

An Anti-Ashantee War meeting, 
Sept. 29, 1873. 

An Anti-Turkish Atrocity meeting, 
Sept. 7, 1876 ; followed by one on Oct. 
2nd, properly settling the Eastern 
question. 

An Anti-Six-Million-War- Vote meet- 
ing was held on Jan. 28, 1878, when 
the Liberal majority was immense. A 
Tory opposition meeting, in support of 
the vote, was held Feb. 12, when chairs 
and forms were broken up to use as 
arguments, the result being a majority 
of 2 to 1 for both sides. 

An Anti-Wnr meeting. May 3, 1878. 

Anti-Vivisection meetings. April 24, 
1877, and May 6, 1878. 

ApollcMoseley Stpeet— Opened 

as a j)ublic resort in 1786, the Rea 
being then a clear running brook. The 
fircjt tenant did not prosper, for in the 
first week of j\larch, 1787, the Gazette 
contained an advertisement that the 
Apollo Hotel, " pleasantly situate in a 
new street, called Moseley Street, in 
the hamlet of Deritend, on the banks 
of the River Rea," with "a spacious 
Bowling Green and Gardens," was to 
be let, with or without four acres of 
gooil pasture land. When closed as a 
licensed house, itwas at lirstdividedinto 
two residences, but in 1816 the division 
walls, &c. , were removed, to fit it as a 
residence for Mr. Hamper, the anti- 
quary. That gentleman wrote that the 
prospect at the back was delightful, 
and was bounded only by Bromsgrove 
Lickey. The building was then called 
" Deritend House." 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Aquariums. — The Aquarium at 
Aston Lower Grounds was opened July 
10, 1879. The principal room has a 
length of 312 feet, the promenade being 
•24 feet wide by 20 feet high. The 
west side of this spacious apartment is 
fitted with a number of large show 
tanks, where many rare and choice 
specimens of marine animals and fishes 
may be exhibited. On a smaller scale 
theie is an Aquarium at the " Crystal 
Palace " Garden, at Sutton Coldiield, 
and a curiosity in the shape of an 
" Aquarium Bar" may be seen at the 
establishment of Mr. Bailey, in Moor 
Street. 

Arcades. — The Arcade between 
Monmouth Street and Temple Row, 
was commenced April 26, 187;') ; first 
illuminated August 19, 1876, and 
opened for public use on 28th of that 
month. It is built over that portion 
of the G.W.R. line running from Mon- 
mouth Street to Temple Row, the front 
facing the Great Western Hotel, 
occupying tlie site once filled by the 
old Quaker's burial ground. It is the 
]>roperty of a companj', and cost nearly 
£100,000, the architect being Mr. W. 
H. Ward. The shops number 38, and 
in addition there are 56 offices in the 
galleries. — The Central Arcade in Cor- 
poration Street, near to New Street, 
and leading into Cannon Street, is 
from the designs of the same architect 
and was opened September 26, 1881. 
Underneath the Arcade proper is the 
Central Restaurant, and one side of the 
thoroughfare forms part of the shop of 
Messrs. Marris and Norton. — The 
North- JVcdern Arcade, wliicli was 
opened April 5, 1884, is like a continu- 
ation of the iirst-named, being also 
built over the G.W.R. tunnel, and 
runs from Temple Row to Corporation 
Street. The architect is Mr. W. Jen- 
kins, and the undertakers Messrs. 
Wilkinson and Riddell, who occupy 
the principal frontage. Several of the 
twenty-six shops into whicli the Arcade 
is divided have connection with places 
of business in Bull Street. — The Im- 



perial Arcade, in Dale End, next to 
St. Peter's Church, is also a private 
speculation (that of Mr. Tlios. Hall), 
and was opened at Christmas, 1883. 
It contains, in addition to the frontage, 
thirty-two shops, with the same num- 
ber of offices above, while the basement 
forms a large room suitable for meet- 
ings, auctions, ke.., it being 135ft. 
long, 55ft. wide and nearly 15lt. high. 
Two of the ])rincipal features of the 
Arcade are a magnificent stained win- 
dow, looking towards St. Peters, and a 
curious clock, said to be the second of 
its kind in England, life-size figures of 
Guy, Earl of Warwick, and his Coun- 
tess, witli their attendants, striking 
the hours and quarters on a set of 
musical bells, the largest of which 
weighs about 5cwt. — Snotv Hill Arcade, 
opposite the railway station, and lead- 
ing to Slaney Street, is an improvement 
due tc Mr. C. Ede, who has adopted the 
designs of Mr. J. S. Davis. — The Hen 
and Chickens Arcade has been designed 
by Mr. J. A. Cossins, for a company 
who puriiose to build it, and, at the 
s-ame time, enlarge tiie well-known 
New Street hotel of the same name. 
Tire portico and vestibule of the 
hotel will form the entrance 
in New Sireet to the Arcade, which 
will contain two-dozen good-sized 
shops, a large basement room for 
restaurant, &c. ; the out in AVorcester 
Street being nearly facing the Market 
Hall. 

Area of Borough. — Birmingham 
covers an area of 8,400 acres, with an 
estimated population of 400,680 (end 
of 1881), thus giving an average of 
47 '7 persons to an acre. As a means 
of comjiarison, similar figures are 
given for a few other large towns : — 

Area in Poimlation Persons 

Acres in 1S81 toacies 

Bradford .. 7,200 203,544 2S-2 

Biistol .. 4,452 217,1S5 48-3 

Leeds .. 21,572 32(3,158 15-1 

Leicester .. 3,200 ]34,350 42-0 

Liverpool .. 5,210 549,834 105-6 

Manchester . 4,293 3(54,445 84-9 

Nottingliani .. 9,9(30 177,964 77-9 



10 



SHOWELL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Newcastle . . 
Salfoid 
SlieffieM 
Wolveilmiptii 



Area in Population Persons 

Acres. in ISSl. to acre. 

5,372 151,8-22 28-3 

5,170 194,077 37-5 

19,651 312,943 15-9 



3,396 



76,850 22-6 



Arms of the Boroug-h.— The 

Town Council, on the 6tli day of 
August, 1867, did resolve and declare 
that the Anns oC the Borough should 
be blazoned as follows : "1st and 4th 
azure, a bend lozengy or; 2nd and 
3rd, parti per pale or and gules. — (See 
cover). 

Apt and APtistS.— An "v^cademy 
of Arts" was organised in 1814, and 
an exhibition of paintings took place 
in Union Passage that year, but the 
experiment was not repeated. A School 
of Design, or "''Society of Arts," was 
started Feb. 7, 1S21 ; Sir Robert 
Lawley (the first Lord Wenlock) pre- 
senting a valuable collection of casts 
from Grecian sculpture. The first 
exhibition was held in 1826, at The 
Panorama, an erection then standing 
on the site of the present building in 
New Street, tlie opening being in- 
augurated b}"- a conversazione on Sep- 
tember 10. Ill 1858, the Scliool of 
Design was removed to the Midland 
Institute. The "Society of Artists " 
mav be said to have commenced in 
1826, when several gentlemen with- 
drew from the School of Design. Their 
number greatly increased by 1842, 
when they took possession of the 
Athenanun, in which building their 
oxliibitions were annually held until 
1858. In that year they returned to 
New Street, acquiring the title of 
"Royal " in 1864. The Arc Students' 
Literary Association was formed in 
Septemiior, 1869. 

Apt Gallepy and School of Apt. 

— In connection with the Central Free 
Library a small gallery of pictures, 
works of Art, kc, loaned or presented 
to the town, was opened to the public 
Augtist 1, 1867, and from time to time 
was further enriched. Fortunately they 
were all removed previous to the dis"- 
astrous fire of Jan. 11, 1879. A por 



tion of tlie new Reference Library is 
at present devoted to the same purpose, 
pending the completion of the hand- 
some edifice being erected by the Ga.s 
Committee at the back of the Municipal 
Buildings, and of which it will form a 
part, ex' ending from Congreve Street 
along Edmund Street to Eden Place. 
The whole of the npper portion of the 
building will be devoted to tlie purposes 
of a Museum and Art Galler}-, and 
already there has been gathered tlie 
nucleus of what promises to be one of 
tlie finest collections in the kingdon:', 
more particularly in res])ect to works 
of Art relating more or less to some of 
the princinal manufactures of Birming- 
ham. Tliere are a large number of 
valuable paintings, including many 
good specimens of David Cox and other 
local artists ; quite a gallery of por- 
traits of gentlemen connected with the 
town, and other worthies ; a choice 
collection of gems and precious stones 
of all kinds ; a number of rare speci- 
mens of Japanese and Chine e 
cloisonne enamels ; nearly a complete 
set of tne celebrated Soho coins and 
medals, with many additions of a 
general character ; many cases of 
ancient Roman, Greek, and Byzantine 
coins ; more than an hundred almost 
priceless examples of old Italian carv- 
ings, in marble and stone, with some 
dozens of ancient articles of decorative 
furniture ; reproductions ot delicate 'y- 
wrought articles of Persian Art work, 
plate belonging to the old City Com- 
panies, the Universities, and from 
Amsterdam and the Hague ; a col- 
lection of Wedgwood and other 
ceramic ware, the gift of Messrs. R. ami 
G. Tangye, with thousands of other 
rare, costly, and beautiful things. In 
connection with the Art Gallery is the 
" Public Picture Gallery Fund," tiie 
founder of which was the late Mr. 
Clarkson Osier, who gave £3,000 
towards it. From this fund, which at 
present amounts to about £450 pin- 
year, choice pictures are purchased as 
occasion offers, many others being pre- 
sented by friends to the town, notably 



SHOWBLL'S dictionary ok BIRMINGHAM. 



U 



the works of David Cox, which were 
given bj' the Lite JMr. Joseph Nettle- 
Ibhl. — The Se/iool of Art, which is 
being built in Edmund Street, close to 
the Art Gallery, is so intimately con- 
nected therewith thar it may well be 
noticed with it. The ground, about 
1,000 square yards, has been given by 
Mr. Crcgoe Colniore, the cost of elec- 
tion being ]iaid out oi £10,000 given 
by Miss Kyland, and £10,000 contri- 
buted by Messrs. Tangye. The latter 
firm have also given £5,000 towards 
the Art Gallery ; Mr. Joseph Cham- 
berlain has contributed liberally in 
paintings and in cash ; other friends 
have subscribed about £8, COO ; Mr. 
Nettlefold's gift was valued at £14,000, 
and altogether not less tiien £10,000 
has been presented to the town in con- 
nection with the Art Gallery, in addi- 
tion to the whole cost of the Scliool of 
Art. 

Apt Union.— The first Ballot for 
pictures to be ciiosen from the Annual 
Exhibition of Local Artists took place 
in 1835, the Rev. Hugh Hutton having 
the honour of originating it. The 
tickets weie 21s. each, subscribers re- 
ceiving an engraving. 

Ash, John, M.D. — Born in 1723, 
was an eminent physicianwho practiseil 
in Birmingham tor some years, but 
afterwards removed to London. He 
devoted much attention to the analvsis 
of mineral waters, delivered the Har- 
veian oration in 1790, and was president 
of a club which numbered among its 
members some of the most learned and 
eminent men of the time. Died in 
1798. 

Ashf ord, Mary. — Sensational tiials 
lor murder have of late years been 
numerous enough, indeed, though few 
of them have had much local inteiest, 
if weexceptthatof the poisoner Palmer. 
The death of the unfortunate Mary 
Ashford, however, with the peculiar 
circumstance attending the trial of the 
supposed murderer, and the latter's 
appeal to the right then existing under 
an old English law of a criminal's claim 



to a " Trial of Battel," invested the 
case with an interest which even at this 
date can hardly be said to have ceased. 
Few people can be found to give cre- 
dence to the possibility of the innocence 
of Abraham Thornton, yet a careful 
perusal of a history of the world-known 
but last " Wager of iiattel " ease, as 
written by the late Mr. Toulmin Smith, 
must lead to the belitf that the poor 
fellow was as much sinned against as 
sinning, local ])rtjudices and indignant 
misrepresentations notwithstanding. 
So far from the appeal to the "Wager of 
Battel" being the desperate remedy of a 
convicted felon toi-scapethedoom justly 
imposed upon him for such heinous 
offence as the murder of an innocent 
girlj it was simply the attempt of a 
clever attorney to remove the stigma 
attached to an unfortunate and mucii- 
maligneil client. The dead body of 
Maiy Ashford was found in a pit ot 
water in Sutton Coldheld, on the 27th 
of May, 1817, she having been seen 
alive on the morning of the same day. 
Circumstances instantly, and mo^t 
naturally, fastened suspicion of foul 
pilay upon Abraham Thornton. lie 
was tried at Warwick, at the Autumn 
Assizes of the same^'ear, and acquitted. 
The trial was a very remarkable one 
Facts were jiroved with unusual clear 
ness and precisian, wiiich put it beyond 
the bounds of physical possibility tliat 
he could have murdered Mary Ashford. 
Those facts hinged on the time shown 
by several different clocks, compared 
with the stamlard time kept at Bir- 
mingham, lint the public feeling on 
the matter was intense. An engraving 
of the scene of the alleged murder, 
with a stimulating letter- [iress de crip- 
tion, was published at the time, and 
the general sense undoubtedly was, 
that the perpetrator of a very foul 
murder had escaped his just doom. 
Hoping to do away with this imjires- 
sion, a well-known local lawyer b^'- 
thoiight himself of the long-forgotten 
" Appeal of Murder," trusting that by 
a second ac([uiLtal Thornton's innocence 
would be a'd<nowledged by all. 



12 



SHOWEr.L'S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Tliougli the condition of all the parties 
was but iiumble, fiiemls soon came 
forward with funds and good advice, 
so that witliin the year and a da}' 
which tlie law allowed, proceedings 
were taken in the name of William 
Ash ford (Mary's brother, who, as next 
heir, according to the old law, had tlie 
sole power of pardon in such a case) for 
an "Appeal of Murder" against Abra- 
ham Tiiornton. Wliat followed is here 
given in Mr. Toulniin Smith's own 
words: — "I have seen it stated, hot 
indignation colouring iinagination,that 
here was a weak stripling nobly aroused 
to avenge tlie death of his sister, by 
tendering himself to do battle against 
the tall strong man who was cliarged 
with her murder. The facts, as they 
stand are truly striking enough ; but 
this melodramatic spectacle does not 
form any tiue part of them. " A writ of 
" Apjieal of Murder" was soon issued. 
It bears the date of 1st October, 1817. 
Under that writ Tuornton was again 
arrested by the Sheriff of Warwick. 
On the first day of Michaelmas Term, 
in the same year, William Asliford 
apjieared in the Court of King's Bench 
at Westminster, as appellant, and 
Abraham Thornton, brought up on 
writ of habeas corpus, appeared as 
ajjpcllee. The charge of murder was 
formally made by tlie aiipellant ; and 
time to plead to this charge was granted 
to the appellee until Monday, 16th 
November. — It must have been a 
strange and startling scene, on the 
morning of that Monday, 16th No- 
vember, 1817, when Abraham Thorn- 
ton stood at the bar ot the Court of 
King's Bench in Westminster Hall ; a 
scene which that ancient Hail bad not 
witnessed within the memorj' of any 
living man, but which must have then 
roused the attention of even its drow- 
siest haunter. "Tlie appellee being 
brought into Court and placed at the 
bar " (I am (juoting tlie original dry 
technical record of the transaction), 
'and the appellant being also in 
court, the count [charge] was again 
read over to him, and lie [Tiiornton] 



was called upon to plead. He jileaded 
as follows ; — ' Not Guilty ; and I am 
ready to defend the same by my body.' 
And thereupon, taking his glove off, 
he threw it on the floor of the Court." 
That is to say, Asliford having "ap- 
pealed" Thornton of the murder, 
Thornton claimed the right to main- 
tain Ills own innocence by "Trial of 
Battel ;" and so his answer to the 
charge was a " Wager of Battel." 
And now the din of fight seemed 
near, with the Court of King's IJench 
at Westminster for the arena, and the 
grave Judges of that Court for the um- 
pires. But the case was destined to 
add but another illustration to what 
Cicero tells us of how, oftentimes, 
arms yield to argument, and the 
swordsman's lookea-for laurel vanishes 
before the pleader's tongue. William 
Asliford, of course, acting under the ad- 
vice of those who really promoted the 
appeal, declined to accept Thornton's 
wager of battel. Instead of accepting 
it, liis counsel disputed the riglit of 
Thornton to wage his battel in this 
case ; alleging, in a very long plea, 
that there were presumptions of guilt 
so strong as to deprive him of that 
right. Tiiornton answered this plea by 
anothei', in which all the facts that 
had been proved on the trial at 
Warwick were set forth at great 
length. And then the case was very 
elaborately argued, for three days, by 
two eminent and able counsel, one of 
whom will be well remembered by most 
readers as tlie late Chief-Justice Tin- 
dal. Tindal was Thornton's counsel. 
Of course I cannot go liere into the 
argument. The result was, tliat, on 
16th April, 1881, the full Court (Lord 
Ellenborough, and Justices Bayley, 
Abl)ott, and Holroyd) declared them- 
selves unanimously of opinion that the 
appellee (Thornton) was entitled to 
wagb his battel, no presumptions of 
guilt having been shown clear enough 
or strong enough to deprive him of 
that riglit. Upon tiiis, Ashford, not 
liaving accepted the Wiiger of battel, 
the "appeal" was stayed, and Thorn- 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIHMINGHAM. 



13 



ton was discharged. Thus no reversal 
took place of the previous ac(]uittal of 
Thornton by tlie Jury at Warwick 
Assizes. But that acquittal had 
nothing wliatcver to do with any 
" trial by battel ;" for I have shown 
that the "wager of battel" arose out 
of a proceeding later than and conse- 
quent upon that acquittal, and that 
this "wager of battel" never reached 
the stage of a " trial by battel." 

What became of Thornton is un- 
known, but he is supposed to have died 
in America, where he fled to escape the 
obloquoy showered upon him by an un- 
forgiving public. The adage that 
"murder will out" has frequently 
proved correct, but in this case it has 
not, and the charge against Thornton 
is reiterated in every account of this 
celebrated trial that has been published, 
though his innocence cannot now be 
doubted. 

Ashted, now a populous part of the 
town, takes its name from Dr. Ash, 
whose resilience was transformed into 
Ashted Church, the estate being laid 
out for building in 178S. 

Assay Marks.— These consist of 
the initials of the maker, the (Queen's 
head for the duty (17/- on gold, 1/6 on 
silver, per oz. ), a letter (changed yearly) 
for date, an anchor for the Birmingham 
office mark, and the standard or value 
mark, which is given in figures, thus : 
— for gold of 22-carat fineness (in oz. 
of 24) a crown and 22 ; 18-carat, a 
crown and 18; 15-carat, 15.625; 12- 
carat, 12.5 ; 9-carat, 9.375. The value 
mark for silver of 11 oz. 10 dwts. (in 
lb. of 12 oz.) is the figure of Britannia ; 
for 11 oz. 2 dwts. a lion passant. The 
date letter is changed in July. At 
present it is k. The lower standards 
of 15, 12, and 9-carat gold (which are 
not liable to duty), were authorised by 
an Order in Council, of December 22, 
1854, since which liate an immense 
increase has taken place in the quantity 
assayed in Birmingham. 

Assay Office. — There are seven 
Assay Offices in the country, the Bir- 



mingham one being established by 
special Act in 1773, for the convenience 
of silversmiths and platewcn'kers. A 
few hours per week was sufficient for 
the business at that time, and it was 
conducted at the King's Head in New 
Street; afterward.*, in 1782, in Bull 
Lane, in 1800 at a house in Little Col- 
more Street, and from 1816 at the old 
Bapti.-it Chapel in Little Cannon Street. 
In 1824 the Act 5, fieorge IV. , cap 52, 
incorporated the a.ssay of gold, the 
guardians being -36 in m.inbfr, from 
whom are chosen the wardens. On July 
14, 1877, the foundation stone was laid 
of the New A.ssay Office in Newhall 
Street, and it was opened for business 
June 24, 1878. 

Assizes. — Birmingham was "pro- 
claimed " an assize town January 14, 
18."j9, but the first assizes were held 
in July, 1884. 

Aston. — Eight hundred years ago, 
Aston filled a sniall space in the 
Domesday book of history, wlierein it 
is stated that the estate consisted of 
eight hides of land, and three miles of 
wood, worth £5, with 44 residents (one 
being a priest), and 1,200 acres in 
cultivation. The present area of Aston 
Manor is 943 acres, on which are built 
about 14,000 houses, liaving a popula- 
tion of some 60,000 persons, and a 
rateable value of £140,000. In the 
first ten years of the e.xistence of the 
Local Board (1869 to 1878) £30,000 
was spent on main (irai;iage works, 
£10,000 in public improvements, and 
£53,000 in street improvements. Aston 
has now its Public Buildings, Free 
Library, &c. , as well as an energetic 
School Board, and, though unsuccess- 
ful in its attempt in 1876 to obtain a 
charter of incorporation, there can be 
little doubt but that it will ultimately 
bloom forth in all the glories of a 
Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses, 
Aston parish, which extends in several 
directions into the borough of Bir- 
mingham, has an area of li3,786 acres. 

Aston Almshouses were built in 
1655, according to the provisions made' 



14 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



liy Sir Thomas Holte previous to his 
decease. 

Aston Church was probably built 
about the year 1170, the nave and part 
of chancel being added in 1231, the 
east end and arch of chancel in 1310, 
and the tower and spire in 1440. The 
old building, which contained an iii- 
terestiug collection of monuments in 
memory of the Holtes, the Ardens, the 
Erdingtons, and other county families, 
has been lately enlarged by the exten- 
sion of the nave and aisles eastward, 
and widening the chancel so as to ac- 
commodate about 1,200 people, instead 
of 500. The whole of the monuments 
have been replaced iu their relative 
positions. 

Aston Cross Tavern was opened 

as a licensed hou^e and tea f.'ardens in 
1775, the first landlord, Mr. Barron, 
living ill 1792, his wi.low kee})iiig it 
till her death in 1817. Of late years 
it has been a favourite resort of all 
classes of athletes, though from being 
so closely built to it lias lost much of 
the attraction which drew our grand- 
fathers to its shady arbours when on 
country pleasure bent. The park wall 
extended to the corner of and along 
the side of Park Lane, opposite the 
tavern. 
Aston Hall and Park.— This 

building was commenced by Sir Thomas 
Hulte in April, 1618, and finished in 
April, 1635, Inigo Jones beingaccredited 
with the design. King Charles I., in 
his days of trouble, paid ashore visit to 
the Hall, his host being punished 
afterwards by some of Cromwell's 
soldiers and the malcontents of Birm- 
ingham besieging the place in the week 
after Christmas,'l643." The brick wall 
round the park, nearly three miles long, 
but of which there are now few traces 
left, was put u{) by Sir Lister Holte 
about 1750, and tradition says it was 
paid fo'- by some Staffordshire coal- 
masters, who, supposing that coal lay 
underneath, conditioned with Sir Lister 
that no mines should be sunk within 
boundary. The Hall and Bark were 



held by the various generations of the 
family till the death of the late Dowager 
Lady Holte. (Eor an accurate and 
interesting description of the edifice see 
Davidson's " Holtes of Aston.") The 
Act authorising the sale of the Astou 
estates received the royal sanction on 
July 10, 1817, and the sale of the 
furniture and effects in the Hall 
was commenced by Alessrs. J. and 0. 
Robins on September 22. The sale 
lasted nine days, there being 1,144 lots, 
-which realised £2,150 ; the farming 
stock, &c. , being sold afterwards for 
£1,201. The Hall and Park was put 
up on April 15, 1818, and was bought 
by Jlessrs. Greenway, Greaves, and 
Whitehead, bankers, of Warwick, the 
estate of 1,530 acres being let off by 
them in suitable lots. The herd of 
deer, reduced to 150 head, was sold 
December 21. The Hall was rented 
by JMr. James Watt, son of tlie 
James Watt, and for many years it was 
closed to the public. At his death, in 
1848, the changes whichhad been going 
on all round for years begin to make 
themselves seen iu the shape of huge 
gaps in the old wall, houses springing 
up last here and there, and a street being 
cut through the noble avenue of chest- 
nut trees in 1852. By degrees, the 
park was reduced to 370 acres, which, 
with the Hall, were offered to 
the town in 1850 for the sum 
of £130,000 ; but the Town Council 
declined the bargain, though less than 
one-half of the Park (150 acres) was 
sold immediately after for more than 
all the money. In 1857 a " People's 
Park " Company was started to " Save 
Aston Hall " and the few acres close 
round it, an agreement being entered 
into for £35,000. Many of the 20s. 
shares were taken up, and Her Majesty 
the (^)ueen performed the opening cere- 
mony June 15, 1858. The speculation 
proved a failure, as out of about 
£18,000 raised one-half went in repairs, 
alterations, losses, &c. , and it would 
have been lost to the town liad not the 
Corporation bought it in February, 
1864. They gave £33 000 (£7,000 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



15 



beiurf jirivate subscriptions), and it 
was at last opened as a free park, Sep- 
tember 22, 1864. Tlie picture gallery 
is 136ft. long, by ISft. wide and 16lt. 
high. In this and various other 
rooms, will be found a miscellaneous 
museum of curiosities, more or less 
rare, including stuffed birds and ani- 
mals, ancient, tapestry and furniture, 
&c. 

Aston Lower Grounds, the most 

beautiful plea>ure grounds in the Mid- 
land counties, cover 31 acres, and were 
originally nothing more than the kit- 
chen and private gardens and the fish- 
])onds belonging to Aston Hall, and 
were purchased at the sale in 1818 by 
the Warwick bankers, who let them to 
Mr. H. G. Quilter, at the time an at- 
tempt was made to purchase the Hall 
and Park "by the people." Adding 
to its attractions year \>y year, Mr. 
Quilter remained on the ground until 
1878, when a limited liability company 
was formed to take to the hotel and 
pr. mises, building an aquarium 320 
feet long by 54 feet wide, an assembly- 
room, 220 feet long, by 91 feet wide, 
and otherwise catering for the comfort 
of their vi-itors, 10,000 of whom can 
be now entertained and amused under 
slielter, in case of wet weather. Mr. 
(tnilter's selling price was £45,000, 
taking £25,000 in shares, and £20,000 
cash by instalments. The speculation 
aid not appear to be very successful, 
and the propertyisnow inprivatehands. 
The visitors to the Lower Grounds 
since 1864 have averaged 280,000 per 
annum. 

Asylum, in Summer Lane, was 
opened in July 1797, by the Guardians 
of the Poor as an industrial residence 
and school for 250 children. It was 
disn'antled and closed in 1846, though 
the •'Beehive" carved over the door 
was allowed to remain on the ruins some 
years alter. 

Athenseum— For the " diffusion of 
Literature and Science" was established 
in March, 1839, but has long been 
merged in the Midland Institute. In 



the building called the " Athenajum, 
top of Temple Street, some of the early 
exhibitions of paintings were held. 

Athenie Institute, founded in 

1841, was an institute of a somewhat 
similar character to the Athenoeuin, 
though including athletics, and existed 
no longer. 

Athletic Clubs.— The first festi- 
val ol the Ijirwiingliam Athletic Club 
was held in 1868 On the 1st of ]\Iarch, 
1880, an association was organised of 
many of the bicycle clubs, cricket 
clubs, football clubs, and similar 
athletic bodies in the town and neigh- 
bourhood, under the name of ' ' The 
Jlidland Counties Amateurs' Athletic 
Union." 

Atlantic Cables.— It would have 

been strange i( Jjtrmingham had not 
had a hand in the making of the.se. 
For the cable laid in 1865, 16,000 
miles of copper wire, weighing 308 
tons, were turned out by Messrs. Bol- 
ton and Sons and Messrs. Wilkes and 
Sons. The cable itself was 2,300 (nau- 
tical) miles in length. 

Baby Show. — Let Mr. Inshaw, of 
the "Steam Clock," have the honour 
of being recorded as the first to intio- 
duce tile Yankee notion of a "baby 
show," which took place at his Music 
Hall, May 15, 1874. 

Bachelors. — In 1695, bachelorsover 
24 had to pay a tax of Is., if " a com- 
mon person," the scale running as high 
as £12 10s. for a duke ! Judgii.g from 
the increase of the population about 
that time, we doubt if even a "com- 
mon " bachelor paid here. The mar- 
ried folks had nut much to laugh at 
though, for they had to pay duty on 
every cliild that was born. Funny 
time, those ! 

Balloons. — A IMr. Harper was the 
first to scale the clouds in a balloon 
from this town, January 4, 1785. He 
rose again on the 31, from the Tennis 
Court, in Coleshill Street, and is said 
to have sailed a distance of 57 miles iu 
80 minutes. Mr. Sadler went up from 



16 



SHOWELl's DICriONARV OF lURMtNGHAM. 



Vauxhall, OctoV.er 7th, 1811, and 
again ou October 20tl. 1823 Mr. 
Green rose troni Newhall Hill, July 
17tli, 1827, and several times after. 

Balsall Heath. -lu ^^ome ancient 
deeds called " Bosvvell Heath. The 
land round Mary street, known a.s the 
Balsall Heath estate, was sold in buikl- 
incr lots (234) in 1839, the last days 
safe beinc; Auc;ust 26, and the auc- 
tioneers. Messrs. E. & C. Robins. Ed- 
wardes-street takes its name from the 
last owner of the estate, wlio, if he 
could now butglanceover the property, 
would be not a little astonislied at the 
changes which have taken place in the 
last forty year.s, for, like unto Aston, 
it may be said to really form but a 
portion of the ever-extending town ot 
Birmingham. Balsall Heath, which is 
in the parish of King's Norton, has 
now a Local Board (with its otlices in 
Lime Grove, Moseley Road) several 
Board schools, chapels, and churches 
a police court, and that sure mark ot 
advancement, a local newspaper. One 
thing still wanting, however, is a 
cemetery. Though an appropnate^and 
convenient spot near Cannon Hill rark 
was chosen for the last resting-place, 
the ratepayers, at a meeting held July 
•21 1879 decided that they could not 
yet afford the required outlay ot some 
£17 000 necessary for the purpose, 
notwithstanding that the annual rate- 
able value of the property ui tlie neigh- 
bourhood is something like £/ 0,000, 
and increasing by three to tour 
thousand a year. 



Banks and Bankers.--The L - 

„,ingham Branch Bank of England 
(drawing on the parent Bank of Eng- 
land), is in Bennetts Hdi. 

The local Branch of the National 
Provincial Bank of England (Lun., 
Bennett's Hill, also draws on its head- 
quarters. It commenced business here 
on New Year's Day 1827. 

The Birmingham Banking Company 
(Lim.), also in Bennett's Hill draws 
on the London and Westrairster It 
opened its doors Sept. 1.1829, with a 



nominal capital of £.500,000, in £50 
shares, £5 being paid up at starting. 
An amalgamation took place in the year 
1880 with the Stourbridge and Kidder- 
minster Bank (established in 1834) the 
united company having a paid-u]> 
capital of £286,000 and a reserve ot 
£312,000. 

The Birmingham and Alidland bann 
(Limited) opened in Union Street, 
Auc^ust 23, 1836, removing to New 
Street in 1869. London agents, the 
Union Bank of L.nidon. Authorised 
capital, £2,400,000. 

The Birmingham, Dudley, and Uis 
trict Banking Co. (Limited) was com- 
menced in Colmore Row July 1st, 
1836 as the Town and District Bank, 
with' a capital of £500,000, in £20 
shares. London agents, Barclay and 
Co., and Williams and Co. ^ 

The Birmingham Joint Stock ban^ 
(Limited) opened in Temple Row West 
Jan 1st, 1862, with a cipital ot 
£3,000,000, in £100 shares, £10 paid. 
A^'i^nts London Joint Stock. Has 
branches in New Street and Great 
Hampton Street. ., ,n n i 

Lloyds' Banking Co. (Limited) Coj- 
more Row, dates from June 3rd, l/6o. 
when it was known as Taylor and 
Lloyds, their first premises being m 
Dale End [hence the name of Bank 
Passage]. This old established firm 
has incorporated daring its century of 
existence a score of other banks, and 
lately has been amalgamated with 
Barnetts, Hoares, and Co., of London, 
the present name being Lloyd, liar- 
nett, Bosanquet, and Co. (Limited). 
There are sub-offices also in Great 
Hampton Street, Deri tend, Five Ways 
and Aston. Li this and acljoiniug 
counties, Lloyds' number about 40 
branch establishments. 

The Worcester City and County 
Banking Co. (Limited) drawing on 
Glynn and Co., removed Irom Cherry 
Street to their newly-built edifice m 
Colmore Row, June 1, 1880. 

The Union Bank ot Birmingham 
(Limited), Waterloo Street, commenced 
business with a nominal capital of 



SHOAVEl.L S DICTIONAKY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



17 



£1,000,000, in £20 shares, £5 paid. 
London agents, the City Bank. It 
has since been taken over by the Mid- 
land Bank. 

Banks. — A popnlar Penny Bank was 
established in 1851, but came to giiif in 
1865, closing March 16, with assets 
£1,608, to ])ay debts £9.418. Anotlier 
})enn}' bank was opened in Grauville 
Street, April 13, 1S61, and is Ntiii car- 
ried on at the Iiinnanuel Schools, Ten- 
nant Street, with about 5,000 depositors 
at the present time. 

A Local Savings Bank was opened 
in May, 1827, ant legalised in the year 
after, but ultimately its business was 
transferred to the Post Office Savings 
Bank, which opened its doors in 
Cannon Street, Dec. 1, 1863. I'.y a 
Government return, it apjieared that at 
the end of 1880 the total amount to 
the credit of depo.'^itors in tlie Post 
Office Savings Banks of the Kingdom 
stood at £30,546,306. Alter the 
Metropolitan counties of Middlesex, 
Surrey, and Kent, Warwickshire comes 
next with a deposit of £1,564,815, the 
average for the wliole of the English 
counties being but little over£500,000. 

Banks Defunct. —The old-estab- 
lished concern known so long as 
Attwood and S{)ooner's closed its 
doors March 10, 1865, with liabilities 
amounting to £1,007,296. The Joint 
Stock Bank took tlie business, and 
paid lis. 3d. in the £. 

Bank of Deposit stopped Oct. 26, 
1861, 

The Borough Bank, a branch of 
Northern and Central Bank of England, 
stopped Feb. 24, 1840. 

The Commercial (Branch) Bank, 
closed July 27, 1840. 

Coates, Woollej' and Gordon, who 
occupied the premises at corner of 
Cherry Street and Cannon Street in 
1814, was joined to Moilliet's, and by 
them to Lloyds. 

Freer, Rotton, Lloyds and Co. , of 
1814, changed to Rotton, Onions and 
Co., then Rotton and Scholelield, next 
to Rotton and Son, and lastly with its 



manager transferi-ed to National Pro 
vincial. 

Galton, Galton and James, of 1814, 
retired in 1830. 

Gibbins, Smith, and Co. failed in 
1825, paying near!)' 20s. in the £. 

Gil)bins and Lowell, opened in 1826, 
but was joined to Birmingham Banking 
Co. in 1829. 

Smith, Gray, Cooper and Co., of 
1815, afterwards Gibbins, Smith, and 
Goode, went in 1825. 

Banknotes. — Notes for 5/3 were 
issued in 1773. 300 counterfeit £1 
notes, dated 1814, were found near 
Heatliileld House, January 16, 1858, 
A noted lorger ol these sliams is said 
to have resided in the immediate 
neighbourhood about the period named 
on the discovered "flimsies." When 
Boulton and Watt were trying to get 
the Act pas.sed patenting their copying- 
press the officials of the Bank ot Eng- 
land opposed it for fear it should lead 
to forgery of their notes, and several 
Memb<-rs of Parliament actually tried 
to copy banknotes as they did their 
letters. 

Bankrupts.— In the year 1882 (ac- 
cording to the Daily Post) there were 
297 bankruptcies, compositions, or 
liquidations in Birmingham, the total 
amount of debts being a little over 
£400,000. The dividends ranged from 
2d. to 15s. in the £, one-half tlie whole 
number', however, realising inider Is. 
6d. The estimated aggregate loss to 
creditors is put at £243,000. 

Baptists. — As far back as 1655, we 
have record of meetings or conferences 
of the Baptist churches in the Midland 
district, their representatives assem- 
bling at Warwick on the second day 
of the third month, and at Moretou-in- 
the-Marsh, on the 26th of the fourtli 
month in that year. Those were the 
Croniwellian days of religious freedom, 
and we are somewhat surprised that 
no Birmingham Baptists should be 
among those who gathered together at 
the King's Head, at Moreton, on the 
last named date, as we find mention 



18 



SHOWELLS DIGTI<')NARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



made of bretliren from ^^'a^\vick, Tew- 
kesbury, Alcester, Derby, Bourtoii-oii- 
the- Water, Hook Norton, Moretoii-in- 
tbe-Marsl), ami even of there being a 
community of tlie same persuasion at 
Cirencester. The conference of the 
Midland Counties' District Association 
of Baptist Churches met in this town 
for the first time in 1740. — For Chapels 
see " Places of Worshi}]." 

BarP Beacon.— A trial was made 
on January 10, 1856, as to how far 
a light could be seen by the ignition of 
a beacon on Malvern Hills. It was 
said to have been seen from »Snowdon 
in Wales (105 miles), and at other 
parts of the country at lesser distances, 
though the gazers at Worcester saw it 
not. The look-out at Dudley Castle 
(26 miles) could have passed the signal 
on to Barr Beacon, but it was not 
needed, as the Malvern light was not 
only seen there, but still away on at 
Bardon Hill, Leicester. — Many persons 
imagine that Barr Beacon is the high- 
est spot in the Midland Counties, but 
the idea is erroneous. Turners Hill, 
near Lye Cross, Rowlev Regis, which 
is 893ft. above mean sea level, being 
considerably higher, while the Clee 
Hills reach"an altitude of 1,100ft. 

Barbep of Bipmingham, The. 

— The knights of the pole (or poll) 
have always been noted for getting 
into mischief, and it is not therefore 
so very surprisin,.' to find that in 
March, 1327, a royal pardon had to be 
granted to " Roger, the barber of Bir- 
mingham," for the part he had taken 
in the political disturbances of that 
time. Was he a Con., or a Lib., 
Tory or Rad. ? 

Bapon of Bipmingham.— One 

of the titles of Lord Ward. 

BaPPacks.— Built in 1793, at a 
cost of £13,000, as a consequence of 
the riots of 1791. 

Bapping Out.— On the 26th of 
Nov. 1667, the scholars of the Gram 
mar School " barred out " the Master, 
and then left the school for a time. 



AVlien they returned they found the 
worthy pedagogue had obtained ad- 
mission and intended to keep his 
j'oung rebels outside. Whereupon, 
says an old chronicler, they, being rein- 
forced by certain of the townsmen "in 
vizards, and with pistoUs and other 
armes," sought to re-enter by assault, 
threatening to kill the Master, and 
showeiing stones and bricks through 
the windows. When the fun was over 
the Governors passed a law that any 
boy taking part in future "barrings- 
out ' should be expelled from the 
School, but the amusement seems to 
have been rather popular, as an entry 
in the School records some ten years 
later show that a certain Widow 
Spooner was paid one shilling " for 
cleansinge ye Schoole at penninge 
out." 

BaskePVille (John) —This cele- 
brated local worthy was a native nf 
AVolverley, near Kidderminster, having 
been born in the year 1706. He came 
to this town in early life, as we find 
tliat he kept a writing school in 1726. 
In 1745 he built himself a residenceHt 
Easy-hill, and carried on the business 
of japanner afterwards adding to it 
that of printer and typefounder. His 
achievcTuents in tins line have made his 
name famous for ever, though it is said 
that he spent £600 before he could 
produce one letter to his own satisfac- 
tion, and some thousands before he 
obtained any piofits from his printing 
trade. He was somewhat eccentric in 
personal matters of dress and taste, his 
carriage (drawn by cream-coloured 
horses) being a wonderful specimen of 
the art ot japanning in the way of pic- 
tured panels, etc., while he delighted 
to adorn his person in the richest style 
of dress. The terms of his peculiar 
will, and his apparent renunciation of 
Christianity, were almost as curious as 
his choice of a place of sepulture. He 
was buried in his own grounds under a 
solidconeof masonry, wherehis remains 
lay until 1821, at which time the canal 
wharf, now at Easy Row, was being 
made. His body was found in a good 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF lURMIXGHAM. 



19 



state of preservation, and for seme short 
peridl was almost made a show of, 
until by the kindness of Mr. Knott the 
bookseller, it was taken to its present 
resting-place in one of the vaults 
under Christ Church. Jlr. Baskerville 
died Januarys, 1775, his widow living 
till March •2"l, 1787, to the age of SO 
years. 

Baths. — Lady well Baths were said 
by Htittoii to be the most complete in 
the island, being seven in number,that 
for swimmers 36 j'ards long by 18 wide, 
and cost £2,000. The place :s now 
occupied by a timber yard, the old 
spring being covered in, thougli fitted 
with a pumj) lor public use. For many 
years a tribe of water carriers procured 
a living by retailing the water at a 
halfpenny per can. The red sand from 
the New Street tunnels was turned to 
account in tilling up the old bath>:,much 
to the advantage of Mr. Turner, the 
lessee, and of the hauliers who turned 
the honest penny by turning in so near 
at hami. 

Baths and Wash houses,— The 

local movement for the establishment 
of public Baths first took practical shape 
at a meeting. liehl 'Nov. 19,1814, within 
a week of which date subscri{)tions 
amounting to £4,1.30 were received for 
the purpose The Association then 
formed purchased a plot of land in 
Kent Street in June, 1S46, and pre- 
sented it to the Town Council in 
November following, tliough the Baths 
erected thereon were not opened to the 
public until May 12, 1851. It was at 
that time imagined that the working 
classes would be glad of the boon pro- 
vided for them in the convenient wash- 
houses attached to the Batlis proper, 
and the chance given them to do away 
with all the sloppy, steamy annoyances 
of washing-day at home, but the results 
proved otherwise, and the wash- 
houses turned out to be not wanted. 
The Woodcock Street establish- 
ment was opened August 2", 1860 ; 
Northwood Street, March 5, 1862; 
Sheepcote Street in 1878, and Lady- 
wood in 1882. Turkish Baths are now 



connected with the above, and theie 
are also private speculations of the 
same kind in High Street, Broad 
Street, and the Crescent. Hardv 
swimmers, who prefer taking their 
natatory exercises in the ojien air, will 
find provision made for them at the 
Reservoir, at Cannon Hill Pa'k, and 
also at Small Heath Park. The 
swiinnung-bath in George Street, Bal- 
sall Heath, opened in 1846, was filled 
up in 1878, by order of the Local 
Board of Health. 

Bath Straet takes its name from 
some baths ijrmerly in Blews Street, 
but which, about 1820, were turned 
into a malthouse. 

Battle of the Alma.— a disturb- 
ance which cook place at a steeplechase 
meeting at Aston, Monday, ilareh 
26, 1855, received this grandilocjuent 
title. 

Battles and Sieg-es.— It is more 

than probable that the British, under 
their gallant Queen Boadicea, fought 
the Ronrins more thaii once in the 
near vicinity of this district , and very 
po.ssibly in those happy days of feuda- 
lism, which followed the invasion of 
the Normans, when every knight and 
squire surrounded himself with his 
armed retainers, sundry skirmishes 
may have taken place hereabouts, but 
history is silent. Even ot the battle of 
Barnet (April 14, 1471), when the Earl 
of AVarwick and 10,000 men were slain, 
we have not sufficient note to saj', 
though it can hardly be doubted, that 
many Birnungham citizens went down. 
But still we have on record one real 
" Battle of Birmingham," which took 
place on the 3rd of April, 1643. On 
that day our town was attacked by 
Prince Rupert, with some 2,000 horse 
and foot ; being pretty stoutly op[)osed, 
his soldiers slew a number of inhabi- 
tants, burnt nearly 80 houses, and did 
damage (it is said) to the e.Ktent of 
£30,000. It took five days for the 
news of this exploit to reach London. 
In the week following Christmas of the 
same year, a number of townspeople, 



20 



SHOWELL S DICTIONARY OF BIEMINGHAM. 



aided by a party of the Commonwealth 
soldiers, laid siege to, and captured, 
Aston Hall. 

Bazaars. — When originated none 
can tell. How much good done by 
means of them, nobody knows. But 
that immense amounts have been 
raised for good and charitable purposes, 
none can deny — and then, " they are 
such Inn !''. "Grand Bazaars" have been 
held for many an institution, and by 
man}'- diil'erent sects and parties, and 
to attempt to enumerate them would 
be an impossibility, but the one on 
behalf of the Queen's Hospital, held in 
April, 1880, is noteworthy, for two 
leasons : — Urst, because the proceeds 
amounted to the munificent sum of 
£5,969. and, secondly, from the novelty 
of the decorations. The body of the 
Town Hall was arranged to represent 
an English street of the olden time, 
a baronial castle rising tower upon 
tower at the gieat gallery end, and an 
Elizabethan mansion in the orchestra, 
with a lawn in front, occupied by a 
military baud. The sides of the Hall 
constituted a double row of shops, the 
upper storeys (reaching to the galleries) 
being filled with casements and bal- 
conies, from whence the doings in the 
street could be witnessed. 

Bean Club.— The first anniversary 
we read of was that held July 17, 1752, 
at which meeting Lord Fielding gave 
£120 to erect an altarpiece in St. Bar- 
tholomew's. 

Beardswopth (John).— Founder 

of tlie Repository, began life as driver 
of a hackney coach, in which one night 
he drove a beautiful young lady to a 
ball. John went home, dressed, pro- 
cured admission to the ball, danced 
with the lady, handed her to the coach, 
drove her home, and some time alter 
married her. The lady's cash enabled 
him to acquire an ample fortune, being 
at one time worth nearly a quarter of a 
million, most of which, however, was 
lost on the turf. The Repository was 
the largest establishment of the kind 
iu the kingdom, and Beardsworth's 



house adjoining was furnished in most 
splendid style, one centre table (made 
of rich and rare American wood) cost- 
ing £1,500. 

Beelzebub.— Watt's first steam 
engine was so christened. It was 
brought from Scotland, put up at Soho, 
and u^ed for exjierimenting upon. It 
was replaced by " Old Bess," the first 
engine constructed upon the expansive 
principle. Thi.« latter engine is now in 
the Museum of Patents, South Ken- 
sington, though Mr. Smiles says he saw 
it working in 1857, seventy years after 
it was made. 

Beep. — Brewers of beer were first 
called upon to pay a license duty in 
1781, thoiigh the sellers thereof had 
been taxed more or less for 250 years 
previously. The effect of the heavy 
duties then imposed was to reduce the 
consumption of the national and 
wholesome beverage, which in 1782 
averaged one barrel per head of the 
then population per annum, down ta 
half-a-barrel ])er head in 1830, its 
place being filled hj an increased con- 
sumption of ardent spirits, which from 
half-a-gallon per head in 1782, rose by 
degrees to six-sevenths of a gallon per 
head by 1830. In this year, the 
statesmen of the day, who thought 
more of tlie well-being of the working 
))art of the jiopulation than raising 
money by the taxation of tlieir neces- 
saries, took off the 10s. per barrel on 
beer, in the belief that cheap and good 
malt liquors would be more likely to 
make healthy strong mgii than an in- 
dulgence in the drinking of spirits. 
Notwithstanding all the wild state- 
ments of the total abstainers to the 
contrai'y, the latest Parliamentary 
statistics show that the consumption 
of beer per head per annum averages 
now only seven-eighths of a barrel, 
though before even this moderate 
quantity reaches the consumers, the 
Government takes [see Inland Revenue 
returns, 1879, before alteration of malt- 
tax] no less a sum than £19,349 per 
year from the good people of Birniing- 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIKMINGHAM. 



21 



ham alone. Of this sum the brewers 
paid £9,518, the maltsters £-i25, beer 
dealers £2,245, and beer retailers 
£7,161. 

Bells. — There was a bell foundry at 
Good Knave's End, in 1760, from 
whence several neiglibouring churches 
were supplied with bells to summon 
the good knaves of the day to prayers, 
or to toll the bad knaves to their end. 
There was also one at Hollowa}' Head, 
in 1780, but the business muse have 
been hollow enon.di, for it did not go 
ahead, and we find no record of church 
bells being cast here until just a hun- 
dred years back (17S2), when Jlessrs. 
Blews k Son took up the trade. Bir- 
mingham bells have, however, made 
some little n dse in tlie world, and may 
>itill be heard on sea or land, near and 
far, in the shape of door bells, ship 
bells, call bells, hand bells, railway 
bells, sleigh liells, sheep bells, fog bells, 
mounted on rockboiind coasts to warn 
the weary mariner, or silver bells, 
bound with coral from other coasts, to 
soothe the toorhloss babbler. These, 
and scores ofotlnM-s, are ordereil hero 
every year by tiiousands ; but the 
strangest of all oiders must have been 
that oue received by a local firm some 
fifteen years ago from a West African 
prince, who desired them to send him 
10,000 house bells (each | lb. weight), 
wherewith to adorn his iron "])alace. " 
And he had them ! Edgar Poe's bells 
are nowhere, in comparison with 

Such a cliarin, such a chime, 
Out (if tune, out of time. 
Oh, tlie jangling ami the wrangling 
or ten tiiousand brazen throats. 

Ten bells were put in St. Martin's, in 
1786, the total weight being 7 tons, 
6cwt. 21bs. 

The peal of ten bells in St. Philip's 
were first used August 7, 1751, the 
weight being 9 tons lOcwt. 221b3. , the 
tenor weighs 30 cvvt. 

A new peal of eight bells were put up 
ill Aston Church, in Miy. 1776, the 
tenor weighing 21 cwt. The St. Mar- 
tin's Society of Change Ringers 



"opened " them, July 15, by ringing 
Holt's celebrated peal of 5010 grandsire 
triples, the performance occupying •'$ 
lioiirs 4 minutes. 

Eight bells and a clock were mounted 
in the tower of Deritend Chapel, in 1776, 
the first peal being rung July 29. 

The eight bells in Bishop Ryder's 
Church, which weigh 55 cwt., and cost 
£600, were cast in 1868, by Blews and 
Sons, and may b(; reckoned as tlie first 
full peal founded in Birmingham. 

Tiicre are eight bells in Harborna 
Parish Church, four of them bearing 
date 1697, two with only the makers' 
name on, and two put in February, 
1877, on the 24th of which month the 
whole peal were inaugurated by the 
ringing of a true peal of Stedman 
triples, composed by the late Tliomas 
Tiiurstans, and consisting ot 5,040 
changes, in 2 hours and 52 minutes. 
The St. Martin's ringers ofiiciated. 

The si.x: bells of Northfield Church 
were cast by Joseph Smith, of Edgbas- 
ton, in 1730. 

St. Chad's Cathedral has eight bills, 
five of which were presented in 1848 
as a memorial to Dr. Moore ; the other 
three, from the foundry of W. Blews 
and Sons, were hung in March, 1877 
the peculiar ceremony of" blessing the 
bells " being performed by Bishop 
Ullathorne on the 22ud of that 
month. The three cost £110. The 
bells at Erdington Catholic Church 
were first used on February 2, 1878. 

Bellows to Mend.— Our towns- 
people Ijellowed a little over their losses 
after Prince Rupert's rueful visit, but 
there was one among them who Icuew 
how to "raise the wind," for we find 
Onions, the bellows-maker, hard at 
work in 1650; and his descendants keep 
at the same old game. 

Bennett's Hill. — There was a 
walled-in garden (with an old brick 
summer-house) running upfrom Water- 
loo-street to Colmore-row as late as 
1838-9. 

Benefit and Benevolent Socie- 
ties. — See ^'Friendly Societies." 



22 



SHOWELL's dictionary op BIRMINGHAM. 



BellbaPn Road, or the road to Mr. 
Bell's barn. 

BePmingham.— The InsL family 
of tlii-s name descended from Robert, 
s-nn of Peter ile Berniingham, who left 
here and settled in Connaught about 
the year 1169. 

Bibles and Testaments. — In 

1272 tht' ])rice of a Bible, well written 
out, was £30 sterling, and there were 
few realeis of it in Birmingham. The 
good book can now be bought for 6d., 
and it is to be hoped there is one in 
every house. Tlie Rev. Angell James 
once appealed to his congregation for 
subscriptions towards sending a million 
New Testaments to China, and the 
Carrslaueites responded promptly with 
£410 8s., enough to jiay for 24,624 
copies — the publisher's price being 4d. 
each. They can be bought for a penny 
now. — A local Auxiliary Bilde Society 
was commenced here ftlay 9, 1806. 

Bingley Hall. — Takes its name 
fiom Bingley House, on the site of 
which it is built. It was erected in 
1850 by ]\Iessrs. Branson and Gwyther, 
at a cost ofabout£6,000,tl]e]n'opiietary 
sliares being £100 each. In form it is 
nearlj' a square, the admeasurements 
being 224ft. by 212ft., giving an area 
of nearly one acre and a lialf. There 
are ten entrance doors, five in King 
Edward's Place, and five in King Alf- 
red's Place, and the building may be 
easilj' divided into five separate com- 
])artments. The Hall will hold from 
20,000 to 25,000 people, and is princi- 
pally used for Exhibitions and Cattle 
Shows; with occasionally "monster 
meetings," when it is considered neces- 
sary for the welfare of the nation 
to save sinners or convert Conserva- 
tives. 

Bird's-eye View of the town can 

be best obtained from the dome of the 
Council House, to wliicli access maj' be 
obtained on application to the Curator. 
Some good views may bo also obtained 
from some parts of Moseley Road, 
Cannon Hill Park, and from Bearwood 
Road. 



Bipmingham.— A horse of this 

name won the Doucaster St. Leger in 
1830 against 27 competitors. The 
owner, John Beardsworth, cleared 
£40,000. He gave Connolly, the jockey, 
£2,000. 

Bipmingham Abpoad. — Our 

bielhren who have emigrated do not 
like to forget even the name of their 
old town, and a glance over the Ameri- 
can and Colonial census sheet shows 
us that there are at least a score of 
other Birminghams in the world. In 
New Zealand there are three, and in 
Australia five townships so christened. 
Two can be found in Canada, and ten 
or twelve in the United States, the 
chief of which is Birmingham in Ala- 
bama. In 1870 this district contained 
only a few inhabitants, but in the 
following year, with a population of 
700, it was incorporated, and at once 
took rank as a thriving city, now 
proudly called "The Iron City," from 
its numerous ironworks, furnaces, and 
uiiils. Last year the citizens numbered 
over 12,000, the annual outjiut of pig- 
iron being about 60,000 tons, and the 
coal mines in the neighbourhood turn- 
ing out 2,000 tons per day. The city 
is 240 miles from Nashville, 143 miles 
from Chattanooga, and 96 miles from 
Montgomery, all thriving places, and 
is a central junction of six railways. 
The climate is good, work plentiful, 
wages fair, provisions clieap, house 
rent not dear, churches and schools 
abundant, and if any of our townsmen 
are thinking of emigrating they may 
do a deal worse than go Irom liencc 
to that other Brummagem, which its 
own " daily " says is a " City of mar- 
vellous wonder and magic growth," 
&c., &c. 
Bipmingham Begging.— Liberal 

to others as a rule when in distress, it 
is on record that once at least the in- 
habitants of this town were the recipi- 
ents of like favours at the hands of 
their fellow-countrymen. In the 
cliurehwardens' books of Redenali, 
Norfolk, under date September 20, 
1644, is an entry of 6s. paid "to 



saoWEM/.S DICTIJXARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



23 



Richard Heiberr, of Ijinuingliain, 
wliere was an hundred iifty and five 
dwelling house burnt by Pr. Rupert." 

BiFmingham Borough, which 

is in the luindied of Henilingtoid. and 
wholly in the rounty of Warwick, in- 
cludes the parish of Birniinghani, part 
of the parish of Edgbaston, and the 
hamlets of Deritend-aiid-Bordesley, 
and DLiddeston-cuni-Nechells, in the 
]iansh of Aston. Tiie extreme length 
is six miles one fui'iong, tlie average 
breadth three miles, the circumference 
twenty-one miles, and the total area 
8,420 acres, viz., Birmingham, 2,955 ; 
in Edgbaston, 2,512 ; and in Aston, 
2,853. Divided into sixteen wards by 
an Order in Council, apjiroved by Her 
Majesty, October 15, 1872. The mean 
level of Birmingham is reckoned as 
443 feet above sea level. 

Bipmingham Heath.— Once an 

unenclosed common, and jtart of it may 
now be said to be common jiroperty, 
nearly 100 acres ot it being covered 
with public buildings for the use of 
such as need a common home. There 
is not, however, anything common- 
place in the style of these erections for 
.sheltering our common infirmities, as 
ilie Workhouse, Gaol, and Asylum 
combined have cost "the Commons ' 
.something like £350,000. The Volun- 
teers in 1798 made use of part of the 
Heath as a practice and }>arade ground. 

Bipmingham Bishops. — The 

Rev. John Milner, a Catholic divine 
and eminent eccle.'-iastical anti(iuary, 
who was educated at Edgbaston, was 
appointed Bishop Apustolic in the 
Midland district, with the title of 
" Bishop of Cdstaballa." He died in 
1826, in his 74th year.— Dr. Uila- 
tliorne w^s enthroned at St. Cliad's, 
August 30th, 1848, as Bishop of the 
present Catholic diocese. — The Rev. 
P. Lee, Head Ma'-ter of Free Grammar 
School in 1839, was chosen as the first 
Bishop of Manchester. — 'I'he Rev S. 
Thornton, St. George's, was consecra- 
ted Bisiiop of Ballaiat, May 1, 1875. 
--The Rev. Edward While Benson, 



D D., a native of this town, was 
nominated first Bishop of Truro, in 
December, 1876, and is now Archbishop 
of Canterlntry. — The Rev. Thomas 
Hnband Gregg resigned the vicarage of 
East Ilarborne in March, 1877, and 
oil June 20 was consecrated at New 
York a Bishop of the Reformed Episco- 
pal Churcli. 

Bipmingham (Little) —in a re- 
cord of tlie early date of 1313 there is 
mention of a place called Little Bir- 
minghatn (parvam Birmingham), as 
being in the hundreds ot Nortli and 
vSouih Erpyngham, Norfolk. 

Bipmingham in the Future.— 

It has been ju'oposed that the Borough 
should be extended so as to include 
the Local Board districts of Harborne 
and Handsworth, Bal.-all Heath, 
Moseley, King's Heath, part of King's 
Norton jiarisii, the whole of Yardley 
and Acock's Green, part of Northtield 
parish, all Aston ]\lanor, Saltley, Wit- 
ton, Little Bromwicb, and Erdington, 
covering an area of about 32,000 acres, 
with a present population of over half 
a million. 

Blind Asylum.— See " PhUan 

tJiropic Institutions. " 

Blondin made his first appearance 
at Aston Park, June 8, 1861 ; at the 
Birmingham Cjucert Hall, December, 
1869, and March, 1870 ; at the Reser- 
voir September, 1873, and September, 
1878. Mrs. Powell, who was known 
as the " Female Blon iiii," was killed 
at a fete in Aston Park, July 20, 1863, 
by falling from tlie high rope. 

Bloomsbupy Institute.— Opened 

in 1860. The memorial stones of the 
lecture-hall in Bloomsbury Street were 
laid August 6. 1877, tlie £750 cost 
being given by Mr. David Smith. 
Seats 500. 

Blue Coat School. — See 

" Schools." 

Blues. — The United Society of 
True lilues was founded in 1805 by a 
number of old Blue Coat buys (formerly 
known as "The Grateful Society") 



24 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



who joined in raising an annual sub- 
scription for the Scliool. 

Board Schools. — See "School 

Board. " "'c'" ! 

Boatmen's Hall, ereeted on Wor- 
cester Wharf, by Miss Ryland, was 
opened March 17, 1879. 

Bonded Warehouses. — Our 

Chamber of Conimeree nienioralised 
the Lords of tlie Treasury for the ex- 
tension of the bonded warehouse system 
to this town, in December, 1858, but 
it was several years before permission 
was obtained. 

Books. — The oldest known Bir- 
mingham book is a "Latin Grammar, 
composed in the English tongue," 
printed in London in 1652, for Thomas 
Underliill, its autlior having been one 
of the masters of our Free School. 

Book Club (The). -Commenced 

some few years previous to 1775, at 
which time its meetings were held in 
Poet Freeth's, Leicester Arms, Bell- 
street. As its name implies, thf club 
was formet] for the purchase and cir-cu- 
lation among the members of new or 
choice books, which were sold at tlie 
annual ilinner, hence the poet's hint in 
one of his invitations to these meet- 
ings : — 

" Due resavrt let tlie hammer be paid. 
Ply the glass gloomy care to rlispel ; 
If mellow our hearts are all made, 
The books much better may sell." 

In these days of clieap literature, free 
libraries, and halfpenny papers, such 
a club is not wanted. 

Books on Birmingham.— Notes 

of Biriningham were now and then 
given before the days of that dear old 
antiquary Hutton, but Ms " History " 
must always take rank as the first. 
Morfitt'.s was amusing as far as it went ; 
Bissett's was ditto and pictorial ; 
but it remained till the present period 
for really reliable sketches to be given. 
Tiie best are Langford's "Century of 
Birmingham Life," Harman's " Book 
of Dates," Dent's "Old and New Bir- 
mingham," Bunce's " Municipal His- 



tory," and the last is "Showells^ 
Dictionary of Birnungham." 

Botanical Gardens.— See " Ror- 

ticuUural Societies." 

Borough Members.— See " Par- 

liamenfarij Elections." 

Boulton (Mathew).— Tlie son of 

a hardware manufacturer of the same 
name, was born here on September 3, 
1728 (old style) and received his edu- 
cation jirincipally at tlie academy of 
the Rev. Mr. Anstey, Deritend. He is 
accredited with having at the early age 
of seventeen invented the inlaving of 
steel buckles, buttons and trinkets, 
whii;h for many years were in great 
request. Tiiese articles at first were 
exported to France in large quantities, 
being afterwards brought from thence 
and sold in London as the latest 
Parisian fashion. \n 1762 (his father 
having iefthini a considerable property) 
Mr. I-5oulton leased a quantitj' of the 
land then forming part of Birmingham 
Heath, where at a cost of over £10,000 
he erected the famous Soho Works, 
and later on (in 1794) he purtdiased tlie 
freeliold of tliat and a considerable 
tract of the adjoining land. Li 1767 
steam was first brought into use tosu]i- 
jilement the power derived from the 
water wheels, and in 1769 he becan e 
acquainted with James Watt, witli 
wliom lie afterwards went into partner- 
ship to make steam engines of all kinds, 
sinking £47,000 before he had any re- 
turn for his money. Mr. Boulton 
lived to tlie patriarchal age of fourscore 
and one, leavincf this life on August 7, 
1809. He was l)uried at Handswortb, 
600 workmen, besides nuniberle-.s. 
friends, following his remains ; all "f 
whom were presented with hatbands 
and gloves and a silver medal, and re- 
galed witli a dinner, the funeral cost- 
ing altogether about £2,000.— See 
" Coinage," &c. 

Bourne College, erected by the 
Primitive Methoiiists and their friemis, 
at Quinton, at a cost of nearly £10,00, 
was formally opened on October 240 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



25 



1882. When completed there will be 
accommodation for 120 students. 

Bowlingf Greens.— These seem to 
liave been fav^mrite places of resort 
with our grandfathers and great-grand- 
fathers. The completion of one at the 
Union Tavern, Cherry Street, was an- 
nounced March 26, 1792, but we read 
of another as attached to tlie Hen and 
Chickens, in High Street, as early as 
1741. There is a very fine bowling- 
green at Aston Hall, and lovers of the 
old-fashioned game can be also accom- 
modated at Cannon Hill Park, and 
a t several suburban hotels. 

Boys' Refug^e is at corner of Brad- 
fonl Street and Alcester Street, and 
the Secretary will be glad of help. 

Boyton. — Captain Boyton showed 
his lile-preserving dress, at the Reser- 
voir, April 24, 1875. 

Braeebridge. — A very ancient 
family, long connected with this neigh- 
bourhood, for we read of Peter de 
Bracebrigg who married a grand- 
daughter of the Eirl of AVarwick in 
A. D. 1100, and through her inherited 
Kingsbury, an ancient residence of tlie 
Kings of Mercia. In later days the 
Bracebridges became more intimately 
connected with this town by the mar- 
riage in 1775 of Abraham Bracebridge, 
Esq., of Atherstone, witli ilary Eliza- 
beth, the only child and heiress of Sir 
Charles Holte, to whom the Aston es- 
tates ultimately reverted. JIauy articles 
connected with the Holte family have 
been presented to Birmingham by the 
descendants of this marriage. 

Bradford Street takes its name 
from Henry Bradford, who, in 1767, 
advertised that he would give a freehold 
site to any man who would build the 
first house therein. 

Breweries.— In the days of old 
nearly eveiy })ublican and innkeeper 
was his own brewer, the fame of his 
house depending almost solely on the 
quality of the " stingo " he could pour 
out to his customers. The first local 
brewery on a large scale appears to have 



been that erected in Moseley Street in 
1782, which even down to late years 
retained its cognomen of the Birming- 
liam Old Brewery. In 1817 another 
company opened a similar extensive 
establishment at St. Peter's Place, in 
Broad Street, and since then a number 
of enterprising individuals have at 
times started in the same track, but 
most have come grief, even in the 
case of those whose capital was not 
classed under the modern term " lini; 
ited." The principal local breweries 
now in existence are those of Messrs. 
Holder, Jlitchel], and Bates, in 
addition to the well-known Crosswells 
Brewery of Messrs Walter Sliowell 
and Sous, noted in next paragraph. 
The piincipal Vinegar Brewery in Bir- 
mingham is that of JNIessrs. Pardon 
and Co. (Limited), in Glover Street, 
which was formed in 1860, and is well 
worthy of the stranger's visit. The 
annual output is about 850,000 gallons, 
there being storage for nearly a million 
gallons, and 36,000 casks to send the 
vinegar out in. 

Brewery at Crosswells.— 

Though b}' far the most extensive 
brewery supplying Birmingham, the 
Crosswells cannot claim to be more 
than in the infancy of its establishmeni 
at present, as only twelve years ago the 
many acres of ground now covered by its 
buildings formed but part of an unen- 
closed piece of waste land. Neverthe- 
less, the spot was well-known and often 
visited in ancient times, on account of 
the wonderful and miraculous cures said 
to have been effected by the free use of 
the water gushing up from the depths 
of the springs to be found there, and 
which the monks of old had christened 
" The Wells of the Cross." Be its me- 
dicinal qualities what they might in 
the days before Harry the Eighth was 
king, the Cross Wells water retained its 
name ami fame for centuries after tlie 
monks were banished and the burly 
king who drove them out had himself 
turned to dust. It has always been 
acknovvledgedasoneof the purest waters 
to be found in the kingdom ; but its 



26 



SHOWELLS DICnONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



peculiar and special adaptability to the 
brewing of "good old English cheer" 
was left to be discovered by the founder 
of the tirm of ]\[essrs. Walter Showell 
and Sons, who, as stated before, some 
twelve years back, erected the nucleus 
of thepresentextensive brewei'y. Start- 
ing with the sale of only a few liuiidred 
birrels per week, the call for their ales 
.soon forced the jiroprietors to extend 
their premises in order that supply 
should meet demand. At first doubled, 
then Quadrupled, the brewery is now 
at least ten times its original size ; and 
a slight notion of the lousiness carried 
on may be gathered from the fact that 
the firm's stock of iiarrels tots up to 
nearly 60,000 and is beii]g continually 
increased, extensive cooperages, black- 
smiths' shops, &c. , being attached to 
the brewery, as well as malthouses, 
offices, and storehouses of all kinds. 
Tlie iiead olfices of the firm, which are 
connected by telephone with the 
lirewery, as well as with the stores at 
Kingston Buildings, Crescent Wliarf, 
are situated in Great Charles Street, 
and thus the Crosswells Brewery 
(though really at Langley Gieen, some 
half-dozen miles away as the crow fliss) 
becomes entitled to lank as a l^irniing- 
ham establishment, and certainly not 
one of the least, inasmmdi as the weekly 
sale of Crosswells ales for this town 
alone is more than 80,000 gallons per 
week. 

Bpickkiln Lane, now called the 

Horse Fair, gives its own deriva- 
tion. 

Bpight.— The Right Hon. John 
Bright, though not a Birmingham 
man, nor connected with the town by 
any ties of personal interest or busi- 
ness, lias for the last quarter-century 
been the leading member returned to 
Parliament as representing the borough, 
and must always rank foremost among 
our men of note. Mr. Bright is the 
son of the late Jacob Bright, of 
(jlreenbank, near Rochdale, and was 
born November T6, 1811. He and his 
brother, Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P. for 



Manchester, began business as partners 
in the affiliated firms of John Bright 
and Brothers, cotton spinners and 
manuficturers, Rochdale, and Bright 
aiul Co., carpet manufacturers, Roch- 
dale and Manchester. At an early age 
Mr. Bright showed a keen interest in 
politics, and took part in the Reform 
agitation of 1831-32. In those days 
every householder was compelled by 
law to pay the Church-rates levied in 
his parish, whatever his religious creed 
might be, and it is said that Mr. 
Bright's first flights of oratory were de- 
livered from a tombstone in Rochdale 
church-yard in indignant denunciation 
of a tax wliich to him, as a member of 
the Society of Friends, appeared espe- 
cially odious It was not, however, 
till 1839, when he joined the Anti- 
Corn Law League, that Mr. Bright's 
reputation spread beyond his own im- 
mediate neighbourhood ; and there can 
be no doul)t but that his fervid ad- 
dresses, coupled with the calmer and 
more logical speeches of .Mr. CobJen, 
contributed in an appreciable degree 
to the success of the movement. In 
July, 1843, he was returned as M.P. 
for the city of Durham, whicli he re- 
presented until the general election of 
1847, when he was the chosen of Man- 
chester. For ten j^ears he was Man- 
chester's man in everything, but the 
side he took in regard to the Russian 
war was so much at variance with the 
popular opinions of his constituents 
that they at last turned on him, burnt 
his efiigy in the streets, and threw him 
out at the general election in March, 
1857. At the death of Mr. G. F.Muntz, 
in July following, Mr. Bright vv«s al- 
most unanimously selected to fill hi* 
place as M.P. for this town, and for 25 
years he has continued to honour Bir- 
mingham by permitting us to call him 
our member. (See Parliamentary 
Elections."') Jlr. Bright has been 
twice n\arried, but is now a wi<iower, 
and he has twice held office i-i the 
Cabinet, first as President of the Board 
of Trade, and more lately as Chancellor 
of the Duchy of Lancaster. 



SHOWELl.S DICTIONARY OF WRMIXGIIAM. 



27 



Bristol Road.— Trees were first 
])lanted in this road in tlie sjaing ot 
1853. 

Britannia Metal, — A mixed metal 

formed ol <J0 jiarts of tin, 2 copper, 
and 8 antimony, brought into use about 
1790, and long a favourite with manu- 
facturers and public alike. The intro- 
duction of electroplating did much 
towards its extendeit make at first, but 
latter!}' it has been in great ni'.;asure, 
replaced by German silver and other 
alloys. 

Britisll Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science first met in this 
town Aug. 26, 1839. They were here 
again Oct. 12, 1857, and Sep. 6, 1865. 

Brittle Street formerly ran from 
Livery Street to Snow Hill, about the 
spot where now tlie entrance gates to 
the Station are. 

Broad Street.— 1 50 years ago i)art 
of what is now known as Dale End 
was called liroad Street, the present 
thoroughfare of that name then being 
only a pathwa}' through the fields. 

Brunswick Building's.— Erected 

in New Stieet, by j\lr. Samuel Haines 
in 1854. A funny tale has been told 
about theoriginal leas^, which included 
a covenant tiiat at the expiration of 
the term of 100 years for which it was 
granted, the land was to be delivered 
up to the Grammar School "well 
cropjjed with potatoes." In 1760 New 
Street was a new street indeed, for 
there were but a lew cottages with gar- 
dens there then, and the potatoe jiro- 
viso was no doubt thouglit a capital 
provision ; but fancy growing that 
choice edible there in 1860 ! 

Buck.— Henry Buck, P.G.M., and 

Sec. of the Birmingham district of 
the Jlanchester Order ot Oddfellows for 
twenty-five years, died Jan. 22, 1876, 
aged 63. A granite obelisk to his 
memory in St. Philip's churchyard was 
unveiled Sep. 17, 1877. 

Building Societies took early root 

liere, as we find there were several in 
1781. — See " Friendlij Societies." 



Buckles were worn as slioe fasten- 
ers in the reign of Charles II. — See 

" Trades." 

Buttons. — Some interesting notes 
respecting the manufacture of buttons 
will be found uiuier the head of 
" Trades." 

Bulgarian Atrocities, 1876-7. 

— A considerable aniount ot "political 
capital " was made out (d' the.^e occur- 
rences, but only £1,400 was subscribed 
here for the relief ot the unfortunates; 
while merely £540 could be raised to- 
wards lielping the thousands ot poor 
Bosnian refugees driven from their 
homes by the Russians in 1878, and of 
this sum £200 was given by one per- 
son 

Bullbaiting was prohibited in 
1773 by Order in Council, and an Act 
was passetl in 1835, to put a stop to 
all l)aiting of bulls, badgers, and bears. 
AtChapel Wake, 1798, some la.v-defy- 
ing reprobate^ started a bullbaiting on 
Snow Hill, but the Loyal Asscciatiou 
of Volunteers turned out, and with 
drums beating and colours Hying soon 
put the rebels to fiight, pursuing them 
as tar as Birmingham Heath, where the 
baiters got a beating, the Loyals re- 
turning home in triumph with the bull 
as a trophy. The last time this " sport" 
was indulged in in this neighbourhood 
appears to have been early in October, 
1833, at Gib Heath, better known now 
as Nineveh Koad. 

Bull Lane was the name once given 
to tliat put (if the present Colniore 
Row between Livery Street and Snow 
Hill, though it has been better known 
as Alonmouth Street. 

Bull Street— Once called Chapel 
Street, as leading to the chapel of the 
ancient Priory ; afterwards named from 
the oUl inn known as the Red Bull 
(No. S3). 

Burial Grounds.— See " Ceme- 

terics." 

Burns. — Excisemen, when Robert 
Burns was one of ihein, were wont to 
carry pistols, and tliose the poet had 



28 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



were given him by one of our gun- 
makers, Mr. F)lair. They were after- 
wards bought by Allan Cunningham, 
who gave them back to Burns' widow. 
— Birmingham lent its rill to the great 
river of homage to the genius of Burns 
which flowed through the length and 
breadtli of the civilised world on the 
occasion of the Burns' centenary in 
January, 1859. The most interesting 
of the three or four meetings held here 
was one of a semi-private nature, which 
took place at Aston Hall, and which 
originated, not withScotchmen, but with 
Englishmen. Some forty-hve or fifty 
gentlemen, only some half-dozen of 
whom were Scotch, sat down to an ex- 
cellent supper in the fine old room in 
which the Queen lunched the previous 
year. Tlie chairman was Mr. Samuel 
Tinimins, and the vice-chairmau was 
Mr. Ross 

Cabs, Cars, and Carpiag-es.— 

The hackney carriages, or four-wheelers, 
of this town, have the credit of being 
superior to those used in London, 
though the hansoms (notwithstanding 
their being the inventions of one who 
should rank almost as a local worthy — 
the architect of our Town Hall) are 
not up to the mark. Prior to 1820 
there were no regular stands for vehicles 
plying for hire, those in New Street, 
Bull Street, and Col more Row being 
laid in that year, the first cabman's 
license being dated June 11. The first 
"Cabman's Rest" was ofieiied in Rat- 
cliffe Place, June 13, 1872, the cost 
(£65) being gathered by the cabman's 
friend, the Rev. Micaiih Hill, who 
also, in 1875, helped them to start an 
a.'sociation for mutual assistance in 
cases of sickness or death. There are 
sixteen of these " shelters " in the 
town, the cabmen subscribing about 
£200 yearly towardsexpenses. As arule, 
the Birmingham cabmen are a civil 
I'ld obliging body of men, thongfi now 
and then a little siiarp practice may 
occur, as in the instance of the stranger 
who, arriving in New Street Station 
one evening last summer, d.esired to be 
taken to theQueen's Hotel. Hislugi^age 



being properly secured, and himself 
safely ensconced, ]Mr. Cabby ooly took 
the rug from his horse's back, mounted 
hisseat,and walked the animal through 
the gates back to the building the 
stranger had just lel't, depositing his 
fare, and as calmly holding out his 
hand (or the customaiy shilling as if he 
had driven the full distance of a mile 
and a half. The fans laid down by 
the bye-laws as proper to be charged 
within the Borough, and within 
five miles from the statue in Ste- 
jihenson Place, in the Borough, are as 
follows : — ■ 

By time, the driver tli-iving at a rate not 
less tliaii five miles per hour, if so re- 
quired : — 

s. d. 

For every carriage constructed to 
carry four persons, for tlie lirs*; 
liour, or part of hour . . . . .°. 

For every additional 15 niiiuites, or 
part of 15 minutes. .. . . '.' 

For every c?rriage constructed to 
carry two persous, for the tirst 
hour, or part of hour .. .. 2 li 

For every additional 15 minutes, or 

part of 15 minutes . . .. .. li 

Any person hiring any carriage 
otherwise than by time is entitled 
to detain the same live minutes 
without extra charge, but for 
every 15 minutes, or part thereof, 
ovfer the first five minutes, the 

hirer must pay t'> 

By distance : — 

Cabs or Cars to carry 2 persons not 
exceeding 1 IT miles. . .. .. 10 

Per A mile after 4 

One horse vehicles to carry 4 per- 
sons, not exceeding 1 nule . . 10 

For any further di»;tance, per^ mile 
after li 

Cars or Carriages with 2 horses, to 
carry 4 persons, not exceeding 1 
mile 1 '.* 

Per i mile after . . . . . . '•' 

Double Fares shall be allowed and 
paid for every fare, or so much of 
any fare as may be performed by 
any carriage alter 12 o'clock at 
night, and before in the morn- 
ing. 

CalthOPpe Park, Pershore road, 
has an area of 31a. Ir. 13p., and wa^ 
given to tlie town in 1857 by Lord 
Calthorpe. Though never legally con- 
veyed to the Corporation, the Park i.> 
held under a grant from the Calthorpe 
family, the effect of which is equivalent 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



29 



to a conveyance in lee. The Duke of 
Cambridge performed the openinj; 
ceremony in this our first public park. 

Calthoppe Road was laid out for 
building in the year 1818, and the 
fact IS wortliy of note as beinj; the 
commencement of our local AVest 
End. 

Calico, Cotton, and Cloth.— In 

1702 tlie [iriutinj; or wearing of ])rinted 
calicoes was ])rohiliited, and more 
strictly so in 1721, when cloth buttons 
and buttonholes were also forbidden. 
Fifty years after, tlie requisites for 
manufacturing cotton or cotton cloth 
were now allowed to be exported, and 
in 1785 a duty was imposed on all 
cotton goods brought into the King- 
dom. Strange as it may now appear, 
there was once a "cotton-spinning 
mill" in Birmingham. The hrst thread 
of cotton ever spun by rollers was 
])rcduced in a small house near Sutton 
Coldfield as early as the year 1700, and 
in 1741 the inventor, John Wyatt, had 
a mill in the Ujiper Priory, where his 
machine, containing fifty rollers, was 
turned by two dunke}s walking round 
an axis, like a horse in a modern clay 
mill. The manufacture, however, did 
not succeed in this town, though car- 
ried on more or less till the close of 
the century, Paul's machine being 
advertised for sale April 29, 1795. 
The Friends' schoolroom now covers 
the site of the cotton mill 

Canals — The first Act for the con- 
.structiou of the "cut" or canal in con- 
nection with Birmingham was passed 
in 1761, that to Bilston being com- 
menced in 1767. The delivery here of 
the first boat-load of coals (Nov. 6, 
1769) was hailed, and rightly so, as 
one of the greatest blessings that could 
be conferred on the town, the imme- 
diate effect being a reduction in the 
price to 6d per cwt , which in the 
following May came down to 4tl. The 
cutting of the first sod towards making 
the Grand Junction Canal took place 
July 26, 1766, and it was completed in 
1790. In 1768 Brindley, the celebrated 



engineer, planned out the I'irminghain 
and Wolverhampton Canal, proposing 
to make it 22 miles long ; but he 
did not live to see it finished. The 
work was taken up by Sineaton and 
Telford ; the latter ol whom calling it 
"a crooked ditch" stiuck out a 
straight cut, reducing the length to 14 
miles, increasing the width to 40 feet, 
the bridges having each a span of 52 
feet. The "Summit" bridge was 
finished in 1879. The Fazeley Canal 
was completed in 1783, and so success- 
fully was it worked that iu nine years 
the shares were at a premium of £1170. 
In 1785 the Birmingliam, the Fazeley, 
and the Graml Junction Companies 
took up and comideted an extension 
to Coventry. The Birmingliam and 
WorcesterCanalwascommenced ill 1,791, 
the cost being a little over £600,000, 
and it was opened for through traffic 
July 21, 1815. Bj' an agreemeut of 
September 18, 1873, this canal was 
sold to the Gloucester and Berkeley 
Canal Co. (otherwise the Sharpne.ss 
Dock Co.), and lias thus lost its dis- 
tinctive local name. The Birmingham 
and Warwick commenced in 1793 ; was 
finished in 1800. Communication with 
Liverpool by water was complete in 
1S26, the carriage of goods thereto 
which had jireviously cost £5 per ton, 
being reduced to 30s. For a through 
cut to London, a company was started 
in 5IaV: 1836, with a nominal capital 
of £3,000,000, in £100 shares, ami the 
first cargoes were despatched in August, 
1840. In April, 1840, an Act was 
passed to unite the Wyrley and Essing- 
ton Canal Co. with the l>ii-miiigham 
Canal Co., leading to the extension, at 
a cost of over £120,000, ot the canal 
system to the lower side of the town. 
There are 2,800 miles of canals in Eng- 
land, and about 300 miles in Ireland. 
The total length ot what may pro[)erly 
be called Birminghom canals is about 
130 miles, but if the branches in 
tiie " Black Country" be added there- 
to, it will reach to near 250 miles. The 
first iron boat made its appearance on 
canal waters July 24, 1787 ; the first 



30 



SHOWELL's DICTIOXARY of BIUMINGHAM. 



propelled by steam anived here from 
Loudon, September 29, 1826. The 
adaptation of steam power to general 
canal traffic, however, was not carried 
to any great extent, on account of the 
injury caused to the bank? by the 
" wash " from the pacdles and screws, 
though, when railways were first talked 
about, the possibility of an inland 
steam navigation was much canvassed. 
When the Bill for the London and Bir- 
niiugliam Railway was before Parlia- 
ment, in 1833, some enter))rising car- 
riers started (on Midsummer-day) an 
opposition in the shape of a stage-boat, 
to run daily and do the distance, with 
goods and passengers, in 16 hours. 
The Birmingham and Liverpool Canal 
Companv introduced steam tugs in 
1843. On Saturday, November 11, 
they despatched 16 boats, with an 
agtrregate load of 380 tons, to Liver- 
pool, drawn by one small vessel of 16- 
horse power, other engines taking U() 
the "train" at different parts of the 
voyage. Mr. Insliaw, iu 1853, l)uilt a 
steamboat for canals with a screw on 
each side of the rudder. It was made 
to draw four boats with 40 tons of coal 
in each at two and a half miles yier 
hour, and the twin screws were to 
negative the surge, Init the iron horses 
of the rail soon })Ut down, not only all 
such weak attempts at competition, 
but almost the whole canal traffic itself, 
so far as general merchandise and car- 
riage of light goods and parcels was 
concerned. " Flyboats" for passengers 
at one time ran a close race with the 
coaclies and omnibuses between here, 
Wolverhampton, and other places, but 
they are old people now who can re- 
collect travelling in that manner in 
their youth. 

Canal Accidents.— The banks of 

the Birmingham and Worcester Canal, 
near Wheeley's Road, gave way on 
May 26, 1872, causing considerable 
damage to tiie properties near at hand. 
A similar occurrence took jdaco at As- 
ton, July 20, 1875 ; and a thini hap- 
pened atSolihull Lodge Valley, October 



27, 1880, when about 80ft. of an em- 
bankment 30-ft. high collapsed. 

Canal ResePVOiP, better known 
as "The Reservoir," near Monument 
Lane, a popular [dace of resort, covers 
an area of 62a. 1r. 5i'., and is three- 
quarters of a mile long. Visitors and 
others fond of boating can be accom- 
mod ited here to their heart's content. 

Cannon. — The first ap])earance of 
these instruments of desti notion in 
connection with the English army was 
in the time of Edward IIL in his wars 
with the Scotch and the French, the 
first great battle of historical note in 
which they were used being that of 
Cressy, in 1346. The manufacture of 
"small arms," as they are called, has 
been anything but a small feature in 
the trade history of our past, but 
cannon-founding does not appear to 
have been much carried on, though a 
local newspaper of 1836 mentioned 
that several 250 and 300- pounder guns 
were sent from here in tliat year for 
the fortifications on tiie Dardanelles. 

Cannon Hill Park covers an area 
of 57a. Ir. 9[)., and was presented to 
the town by Miss Ryland, the deed of 
conveyance beaiing date April IStli, 
1S73. The nearest route to this Park 
is by way of Pershore Rond and Edg- 
baston Lane, omnibuses going that 
way every half-hour. 

Caps. — The inventor of percussion 
caps is not known, but we read of them 
as being made here as early as 1816, 
though they were not introduced into 
"the service" until 1839. The manu- 
facture of these articles has several 
times led to great loss of life among the 
workers, notes of which will be fouini 
under the head of '■'Explosions." See 
also " Trades." 

Carlyle. — The celebrated philoso- 
pher, Thomas Carlyle, resideil here for 
a short time in 1824 ; and his notes 
about Birmingham cannot but be worth 
preserving. Writing to his brother 
John under date Aug. 10, he says : — 

" Birniingliam I liave now tried for a reason- 
able time, and I cannot complain of being 



SIIOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



31 



tired of it. As a town it. is pitiful enough — a 
mean congeries of brieVcs, ini-liuling one or two 
large capitalists, some liuiiilreds of minor 
ones, and, perhaps, a liuiulred ami twenty 
thousand sooty artisans in metals and chem- 
ical produce. Tlie streets are ill-built, ill- 
paved, always flimsy in their aspect— often 
poor, sometimes miserable. Not above oin' 
or two of them are paved witli flagstones at 
the sides ; and to walk upon the little egg- 
.shaped, slippery flints tliat supply their 
places is something lil<e a penance. Yet withal 
it is interesting for some of tlie commons 
or( lanes that spot and intersect the green, 
woody, undulating environs to view this city 
of Tubal Cain. Torrents of thick smoke, 
with ever and anon a burst of dingy ftaine, 
are issuing from a thousand funnels. ' A 
thousand hammers fall by turns.' You 
liear the clank of innumerable steam en- 
gines, the rumbling of cars and vans, and 
the hum of men interrupted by the 
sharper rattle of some canal boat loading or 
disloading, or, perphaps, some tierce explosion 
when the cannon founders [qy : the proof- 
house] are proving their new-made ware. I 
have seen tlieir ndliiig-mills, their polishing 
cif teapots, and buttons and gun-barrels, ami 
lire-shovels, and swor<ls, and all manner of 
toys and tackle. I have looked into their 
ironworks where 150,000 nien are smelting the 
metal in a districn a few miles to the north : 
their coal mines, tit image of Arvenns ; their 
tubes and vats, as large as country churches, 
full of copperas and aqua foitis and oil of 
vitroil ; and the whole is not without its at- 
tractions, as well as repulsions, of which, 
when we meet, I will preach to you at large.' 

Carp's Lane, — Originally this is 
believed to have been known as 
" Goddes Cart Lane," and was suffi- 
ciently steep to be dangerous, as evi- 
denced by accidents noted in past 
history. 

Capp's Lane Chapel, the meeting 

house of the old Indei)eii(ient«, or as 
they are now called, the Congreuation- 
alists, will be noticed under ^' Places of 
WorshijJ-" 

CaPtOOns. — If some of our foie- 
fathers could but glance at the illustra- 
tions or the portait caricatures of local 
public men and their doings, Jiow given 
us almost daily, we fear they would not 
credit us moderns with much advance- 
ment in the way of political politeness, 
however forward we may be in other 
respects. Many really good cartoons 
have appeared, and neither side can be 
said to hold a monopoly of such 
sketchy skilfulness, but one of the best 



(because most trntlifnl) was the cartoon 
issued ill October 1868, giving tlu- 
portrait of a " Vote-as-you're-told" 
electer, led by the nose by his Daihi 
rod. 

Castle. — Birmingham Castle is 
named in an ancient document as being 
situated a 'liowshot southwestward of 
the church," but the exact site thereof 
has never been traced. It is supposed 
to have been erected about the yeai 
1140, and to have been demolished by 
order of King Stephen, in 117G. 

Castle StPeet takes its name from 
the hostlery once so famous among our 
coach ofiicers. 

Catacombs.— There is a large 
number of massively-built stone vaults 
underneath Christ Church, each divided 
into tiers of catacon.bs, or receptacles 
for the dead. It is in one of these that 
the remains of ISaskerville at last found 
a resting place. — The catacombs at the 
General Cemetery are many, being cut 
out of the sandstone rock known as 
Key Hill, and a large number have 
been and can be excavated underneath 
the church in the Warstone Lane 
Cemetery. 

Cathedpal.— See "PZwtYi' of JFot' 

ship — C'at/iulif." 

Cat Shows.— The first Cat Show- 
held here was opened November 29th, 
1873, and was a very successful specu- 
lation ; but the exhibitions of the two 
following yeais did not pay and since 
then the grimalkins have been left at 
home. 

Cattle Show. — As first started (in 
1849, when it was held near Kent 
Street), and at Bingley Hall in the 
following year, this was an annual 
show of cattle, sheep, and pigs only, but 
after yeais has made it a gathering place 
for specimens, of nearly everything 
recjuired on a farm, and the "Show" 
has become an '' Exhibition," under 
which heading full notice will be 
found. 

CemetePies, — The burial grounds 
attached to the Churches were formerly 



32 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMtNGHA.M. 



tlieouly places of interment save for 
suieides and murderers — the former of 
whom were buried at some cross-road, 
with a stake driven through the body, 
while the latter were frequently hung 
in chains and got no burial at all. In 
1807 the first addendum to our church- 
yards was made by the purchase of 
13,192 square yards of land in Park 
Street, which cost £1,600. Having 
been laid out and enclosed with sub- 
stantial railed walls at a fu''ther outlay 
of £764, the ground was duly conse- 
crated July 16, 1813, and for some 
years was the chief receptacle for de- 
caying luimanitj'' of all classes, many 
thousands of whom were there de- 
posited. By degrees the ground came 
to be looked upon as only fit for the 
poorest of the poor, until, after being 
divided by the railway, this "God's 
Acre " was cared for by none, and was 
well called the "black spot" of the 
town. Since the passing of the Closed 
Burial Grounds Bill (Marcdi 18, 1878) 
the Corporations have taken po>.«ession, 
and at considerable expense have 
re-walled the enclosure and laid it 
out as a place of health resort for the 
children of the neighbouriiood. The 
burial grounds of St. Bartholomew s,St. 
Martin's, St. Mary's, and St. George's 
have also been carefully and tastefully 
improved in appearance, and we can 
now venture to look at most of our 
churchyards without shame. 

The General Cemetery at Key Hill 
was originated at a meeting held Oct. 
18, 1832, when a proprietary Company 
was formed, and a capital fixed at 
£12.000, in sliares of £10 each. Tiie 
total area of the property is about 
twelve acres, eight of which are laid 
out for general burials, in a idition to 
the catacombs cut into the sandstone 
rock. 

The Church of England Oemetery in 
Warstone Lane is also the property of 
a private Company, having a capital 
of £20,000 in £10 shares. The area is 
nearly fifteen acres, the whole of which 
was consecrated as a burial ground for 
the Church on August 20, 1848. 



The Catholic Cemetery of St. 
Joseph, at Nechell's Green, received 
its first consignment in 1850. 

The introduction and extension of 
railways have played sad havoc with a 
number of the old burial grounds be- 
longing to our foi'efathers. As men- 
tioned above the London and North 
Western took a slice out of Park Street 
Cemetery. The Great Western cleared 
the Quakers' burial ground in Mon- 
mouth Street (where the Arcade now 
stands) the remains of the departed 
Friends being removed to their chapel 
yard in Bull Street, and a curious tale 
has been told in connection therewith. 
It is said tiiat the representative of the 
Society of Friends was a proper man of 
business, as, indeed, most of them are, 
and that he drove rather a hard bar- 
gain witli the railway directors, who at 
last were obliged to give in to what 
they considered to be an exorbitant 
demand for such a small bit of free- 
hold. The agreement was made and 
the contract signed, and Friend Broad- 
brim went on his way rejoicing ; but 
not for long. In selling tne land he 
apparently forgot that the land con- 
tained bones, for when the question of 
removing the dead was mooted, the 
Quaker found he had to pay back a 
goodly portion of tlie purchase money 
before he obtained permission to do so. 
In clearing the old streets away to 
make room for New Street Station, in 
1846, the London and North Western 
found a small Jewish Cemetery in 
what was then known as the 
" Froggery," but which had long been 
disuseu. The descendants of Israel 
carefully gathered the bones and re- 
interred them in their later-dated 
cemetery in Granville Street, but even 
here they did not find their last resting- 
place, for when, a few years back, the 
Midland made the West Suburban line, 
it became necessary to clear out this 
ground also, and the much-disturbed 
remains of the poor Hebrews were le- 
moved to Witton. The third and last 
of the Jewish Cemeteries, that in Beth- 
olom Row, which was first used in or 



SUOWELLS UICTIONAUY OK BIRMINGHAM. 



33 



about 1825, and lias long beou fall, is 
also doomed to make way for the tx- 
teusioii of the same line. — Diirincr the 
year 1883 the time-honoured old Mcct- 
iug-house yard, where Poet Freeth, 
andmany anotl.erloeal worthy, were laid 
to rest, iias l).,en cartetl off — dust and 
ashes, tombs and tomb-itones — to the 
great graveyard at Witton, where 
Christian and Infidel, Jew and Gentile, 
it is to be hoped, will be left at peace 
till the end of the world. 

In 1360, the Corporation purchased 
105 acres of land at Witton Cor the 
Borough Cemetery. The foundation 
stones of two chapels were laid August 
12, 1861, and tlie Cemetery was 
opened May 27, 1863, the tot;il cost 
being nearly £10.000. Of the 105 
acres, 53 are consecrated to the use of 
the Church of England, 35 laid out for 
Dissenters, and 14 set aside for Catho- 
lics and Jews. 

Census. — The numbering of the 
people by a regular and systematic 
plan once in every ten years, only 
came into operation in 1801, and the 
most interesting returns, as connected 
with this town and its immediate 
neighbourliood, will be found under 
the heading of " Fojndution. " 

Centre of Bipmingham —As de- 
fined by the authoritie.-i for the .settle- 
ment of any question of distance, Att- 
wood's statue at the top of SLe[>heasoa 
Place, in New Street, is reckoned as 
the central spot of the borough. In 
olden days. Nelson's monument, and 
prior to that, the Old Cross, in the 
Bull Ring, was taken as the centre. 
As an absolute matter of fact, so far as 
the irregular shape of the borough area 
will allow of such a measurement being 
made, the central spot is covered by 
Messrs. Marris and Norton's warehouse 
in Corporation Street. 

Centenarians. — John Harman, 
better known as Bishop Vesey, died in 
1555, in his 103rd year. James Sands, 
who died at llarborne in 1625, was 
said to have been 140 years old, and 
his wife lived to be 120. Joseph Stan- 



ley, of Aston, died in May, 1761, in 
his 106th year. Wesley, under date of 
March 19, 1768, wrote of liaving seen 
George Bridgens, then in his 107th 
year ; Hutton, in noticing the long 
life of Bridgens, also mentions one 
John Pitt wiio lived to be 100, a Mrs. 
Moore who reached 104, and an old 
market man who comiileted his 107th 
year. A Mr. Clarkson died here, in 
February, 1733, aged 112. William 
Jennens, the Jennens of untold, but 
much coveted, wealth, died in .fune, 
1798, aged 103. John Roberts, of Dig- 
beth, had a family of twenty-eight 
children, six by his third wife, whom 
he married when nearly eighty, and 
lived to see his 103rd yeai, in 1792, 
dying July 6. Thomas Taylor, a cobb- 
ler, stuck to his last until a week of 
his death, July 8, 1796, at 103. T. 
Blakemore died November 12, 1837, 
aged 105. Mrs. E. Bailey, founder of 
the Female Charity School, was also 
105 at her death, December 2, 1854. 
Another old lady was Elizabeth Taylor, 
•:^'ho died at Sparkbrook, March 5, 1864, 
aged 104 years. Mary Hemming, of 
Moseley Wake Green, died December 
5, 1881, in her 104th year. 

Centenary Celebrations, more 

or less wortliy of note, are continuously 
recurring, and the date of some few ai'e 
here preserved. Our loyal grandfathers 
honoured the hundredth ainiiversary 
of the Revolution of 1688, by a public 
dinner, November 4, 1788. Old Blue- 
coat boys in like manner kept the cen- 
tenary of their school, August 24, 1824. 
Admirers of the Philosopher Priestley 
cliose All Fools' Day, 1831, as the fitting 
da}' to celebrate the anniversary of his 
birth. The Centenary of the Protes- 
tant Dissenting Charity Scliools was 
worthily celebrated by the raising of a 
special sum amounting to £1,305, as an 
addition to the funds. In January, 
1859, Robert Burns' anniversary was 
remembered by the holding a supper 
in Aston Hall, at which only half-a-tlozen 
Scotchmen were present out of lialf-a- 
hundred guests. The Dissenting Minis- 
ters of this and the neighbouring coun- 



34 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



ties, who, for a huiidreJ years, have 
met together once a nioiitli, celeljrated 
the event by a quiet luiicheon-diuiier, 
December 13, 1882. The Tercentenary 
of the Free Grammar School was cele- 
brated with learned speeches April 16, 
1852 ; that of Good Queen Bess, by a 
public prayer meeting, November 16, 
1858 ; and that of Shakespeare, April 
23, 1864, by the founding of a Shakes- 
peare Memorial Library. Tlie thou- 
sandth anniversary of Alfred tlie Great, 
October 29, 1849, was made much of 
by tlie Political Knowledge Association, 
which liad not been in existence a 
thousand days. The fact of John 
Bright being M.P. for Birmingham 
for a quarter of a century, was cele- 
brated in June, 1883, by the 
Liberal Association, who got up a 
" monster " procession in imitation 
of the celebrated Attwood procession of 
the old days of Reform. The holiday 
was most thoroughly enjoyed by the 
public generally, and immense num- 
bers of people thronged the streets to 
hear the bauds and see what was to be 
seen, 

Chambeplain MemoriaL — See 

•' Statues," (i;c. 

Chambep of Commepce. — In 

1783 there was a "Standing General 
Commercial Committee," composed of 
the leading merchants and Manufac- 
turers, who undertook the duty of 
looking after the public interests of the 
town (not forgetting their own peculiarly 
private ditto). That they were not so 
Liberal as their compeers of to-day may 
be gathered from the fact of their 
strongly opposing the exportation of 
brass, and on no account permitting a 
workman to go abroad. 

Chambep of Manufaetupeps.— 

When Pitt, in 1784, proposed to tax 
eoal, iron, copper, and other raw mate- 
rials, lie encountered a strong oppo- 
sition from the manufacturers, promi- 
nent among whom wereBoulton(Soho), 
Wilkinson (Bradley), and Wedgwood 
(Potteries), who formed a " Chamber," 
the first meeting of which was held 



here in February, 1785. The Minister 
was induced to alter his mind. 

ChandeliePS. — Many beautiful 
works of art liave been manufactured 
in this town, which, though the 
wonder and admiration of strangers, 
receive but faint notice liere, and find 
no record except in the newspaper of 
the day or a work like the present. 
Among such maj' be ranked the superb 
brass chandelier wliieh Mr. R. W. 
Winfield sent to Osborne in 1853 for 
Her Majesty, the Queen. Designed in 
the Italian style, tliis fine specimen of 
the brassworkers' skill, relieved by 
burnishing and light matted, work, 
ornamented with figures of Peace, 
Plenty, and Love in purest Parian, 
masks of female faces typical of night, 
and otherwise decorated in the richest 
manner, was declared by the lute 
Prince Consort as the finest work he 
had ever seen made in this country 
and worthy to rank with that of the 
masters of old. Not so fortunate was 
Mr. CoUis with the "Clarence chande- 
lier " and sideboard he exhibited at 
tlie Exhibition of 1862. Originally 
made of the richest ruby cut and gilded 
glass for William lY., it was not 
finished before that monarch's death, 
and was left on the maker's hamis. 
Its cost was nearly £1,000, but at tlie 
final sale of Mr. Collis's effects in Dec. 
1881 it was sold for £5. 

Chapels and Chupches.— See 

^'Places of Worahip." 

ChaPity. — Charitable collections 
were made in this neighbourhood in 
1655, for the Redmontese Protestants, 
Birmingham giving £15 lis. 2d. , Sut- 
ton Coldfield £14, and Aston £4 14s. 
2d. On the 6th of June, 1690, £13 
18s. l^d. were collected at St. Martin's 
"for ye Irish Protestants." In 1764 
some Christmas performances were 
given for the relief of aged and. dis- 
tressed housekeepers, and the charit- 
able custom thus inaugurated was kept 
up for over seventy years. In the days 
of monks and monasteries, the poor 
and needy, the halt and lame, received 



SriOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BlUMIN'GHAM. 



35 



charitable doles at the haiuls of the 
former and at the gates of the latter, 
but it would be questionable how far 
the liberality of the parsons, priests, 
and preachers of the present day would 
go were the same system now in 
vowue. It has been estimated that 
nearly £5,000 is given every year in 
what may iie called the indiscriminate 
charity ol' giving alms to those who 
ask it in the streets or from door to 
door. By far the largest portion of 
this amount goes into the hands of 
the undeserving and the worthless, and 
the formation of a central relief office, 
into which the charitably-disposed may 
hand in their contributions, and from 
whence the really poor and deserving 
may receive help in times of distress, 
has been a long-felt want. In 1869 a 
"Charity Organisation Society" was 
establislied liere, and it is still in 
existence, but it does not appear 
to meet with that recognised support 
which such an institution as suggested 
requires. In 1882 a special fund was 
started for the purpose of giving aid to 
wojnen left witli cliildren, and about 
£380 w.is subscribed thereto, while the 
ordinary income was onlv £680. The 
special fund can hardly be said as yet 
to have got into working order, but 
when the cost of proving the property 
of the recipients, with the necessary 
expenses of office rent, salaries, _ &c., 
have been deducted from the ordinary 
income, the amount left to be distri- 
buted among the persons deemed by 
the ofiicials deserving of assistance is 
small indeed, the expenses reaching 
about £330 per year. In 1880 it cost 
£329 18s. Id. to give away food, cash, 
and clothing, &c. , valued at £386 
16s. 6d., an apparent anomally which 
would not be so glaring if the kind- 
hearted and charitable would only 
increase the income of the Society, or 
re-organise it upon a wider basis. — For 
statistics of poverty and the poor see 
" Pauper ism" and "Poor Rates." 

Charitable Trusts.— See ''Phil- 

anthropical Institutions," &c. 



ChaPtism. — Following the great 
Reform movement of 1832, in wliich Hir- 
mingham led the van, came years of bad 
harvests, bad trade, and l)itter distres.'^. 
The great Cliarlist movement, though 
not supported by the leaders of the 
local Liheral jiarty, was taken up with 
a warmth almost une(jualled in any 
other town in the Kingdom, meetings 
being held daily and nightly for months 
in succession, Feargus O'Connor, 
Henry Vincent, and many other 
" orators of the tiery tongue," taking 
part. On the 13th of August, 1838, a 
monstre demonstration took place on 
Holloway Head, • at which it was 
reckoned there were over 100,000 
persons prt^sent, and a petition in 
favour of '' The Charter '' was adopted 
that received the signatures of 95,000 
people in a few days. The Chartist 
" National Convention" met here May 
13, 1839, and noisy assemblages almost 
daily affrighted t!.ie respectable towns- 
men out of their propriety. It was 
advised that the people should abstain 
from all exciseable articles, and "runfor 
gold"upon the savings banks — verygood 
advice when given by Attwood in 1832, 
but shockingly wicked in 1839 when 
given to people who could have had 
but little in the savings or any other 
banks. This, and the meetings which 
ensued, so alarmed the magistrates for 
the safety of property that, in addition 
to swearing in hundreds of special con- 
stables, they sent to Loudon for a body 
of police. These arrived on July 4, and 
unfortunately at the time a stormy 
meeting was being held in the Bull 
Ring, which they were at once set to 
disperse, a work soon accomplished by 
the free use they made of their staves. 
The indignant Brums, however, soon 
rallied and drove the police into the 
Station, several being wounded on 
either side. The latent fury thus en- 
gendered burst out in full foice on the 
ISthwlien the notorious Chartist Riots 
commenced, but the scenes then en- 
acted, disgraceful as they were, may 
well be left in oblivion, especially as 
the best of " the points" of the Charter 



36 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



are now part of tlie laws of the land. 
Besides many others who were punished 
more or less, two of the leaders, Wm. 
Lovett and John Collins, were sen- 
tenced to one year's imprisonment for 
a seditious libel in saying that " the 
people of Birmingham were the best 
judges of their own rights to meet in 
the Bull Ring, and the best judges of 
their own power and resources to ob- 
tain justice." On the 27th July, 1849, 
Lovett and Collins were accorded a 
public welcome on their release from 
prison, being met at the Angel 
by a crowd of vehicles, bands 
of music, &c., and a procession (said 
to have numbered nearly 30,000), 
accompanied them to Gosta Green 
where speeches were delivered ; 
a dinner, at which 800 persons sat 
down, following on the site of "The 
People's Hall of Science," in Loveday 
Street. In 1841, Joseph Sturge gave 
in his adhesion to some movement 
for the extension of the franchise to 
the working classes, and at his sugges- 
tion a meeting was held at the Water- 
loo Rooms (Feb. 25th, 1842), and a 
memorial to the Queen drawn up, wbich 
in less than a month received 16,000 
signatures. On the 5th of April, 87 
delegates from various parts of Eng 
land, Ireland, and Scotland, assembled 
here, and after four days' sitting formed 
themselves into "The National Com- 
plete Suffrage Union," whose "points" 
were similar to those of the Charter, 
VIZ., manhood suH'rage, abolition of 
the property qualilication, vote by 
ballot, equal electoral districts, pay- 
ment of olection expenses and of 
members, and annual Parliaments. 
On the 27th of December, another Con- 
ference was held (at the Mechanics' 
Institute), at which nearly 400 dele- 
gates were present, but the apple of 
discord had been introduced, and the 
" Complete Suffrage Union " was pooh- 
poohed by tlie advocates of " the 
Charter, the whole Charter, and no- 
thing but the Charter," and our peace- 
loving townsman, whom The Times 
bad dubbed "the Birmingham Quaker 



Chartist," retired from the scene. 
From that time until the final collapse 
of the Chartist movement, notwith- 
standing Tnany meetings were held, 
and strong language often used, Bir- 
mingham cannot be said to have taken 
much part in it, though, in 1848 
(August 15th), George J. Mantle, 
George White, and Edward King, three 
local worthies in the cause, found 
themselves in custody for using sedi- 
tious language. 

ChauntPies.— In 1330 Walter of 
Clodeshale, and in 1347 Richard of 
Clodeshale, the "Lords of Saltley," 
founded and endowetl each a Chauntry 
in old St. IMartin's Church, wherein 
daily services should be performed for 
themselves, their wives, and aiicestors, 
in their passage through purgatory. In 
like manner, in 1357, Philip de Lutte- 
ley gave to the Lutteley chantiyin En- 
ville Church, a ]iarcel of land called 
IMorfe Woode, "for the health of his 
soul, and the souls of all the main- 
tainers of the said chantry ; " and in 
1370 he gave otherlandsto the chantry, 
" for the priest to pray at the altar of 
St. Marv for the healtli of his soul, 
and Maud his wife, and of SirFulkede 
Birmingham," and of other benefac- 
tors recited in the deed. It is to be 
devoutly hoped that the souls of the 
devisees and their friends had arrived 
safely at their journej's' end before 
Harry the Eighth's time, for he 
stopped the prayers by stopping the 
supplies. 

Cherpy Street took its name from 

the large and Iruitful cherry orchard 
which we read of as being a favourite 
spot about the year 1794. 

Chess. —See "Sports and Sporting.'' 

Chicago Fire.— The sum of £4,300 
was subscribed and sent from here to- 
wards relieving the sulferers by this 
calamity. 

Children. — A society known as 
"Tiie Neglected Children's Aid So- 
ciety," was founded in 1862. by Mr. 
Arthur Ryland, for the purpose of 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMIXGIIAAI. 



37 



looking after an<l taking care of chil- 
dren under fourteen found wandering 
or begging, homeless or without proper 
guardianship. Ic was the means of 
rescuing hundreds from the paths of 
dishonest}' and wretchedness, but as 
its work was in a great measure taken 
up by tlie School Board, the society 
was dissolved Dec. 17, 1877. Mr.Tiios. 
Middleniore, in 1872, ])itying the con- 
dition of the unfortunate waifs and 
strays known as '" Strert Arabs," took 
a house in St. Luke's Road for boys, 
and one in Spring Road for girls, and 
here he has trained nearly a thousand 
poor children in ways of cleanliness 
and good behaviour prior to taking the 
larger part of them to Canada. A 
somewhat similar work, thougli on a 
smaller scale, is being carried on by 
Mr. D. Sniicn. in connection witli tlie 
mission atiached to the Bloomsbnry 
Institution. In both instances the 
children are foumi. good homes, and 
placed with worthy people on their 
arrival in Canada, and, with scarcely 
an exception all are doing well. The 
total cose per head while at the Homes 
and including the passage money is 
about £16, and subscriptions will be 
welcomed, so that the vork of tlie In- 
stitutions may be extended as much as 
possible. 

Chimes. — -The earliest note we can 
find respecting the chimes in the tower 
of St. Jlartin's is in a record 
dated 1552, wliicli states there were 
" iiij belles, with a clocke, and a 
chyme." 

ChimnieS.^Like all manufacturing 
towns Birmingham is pretty well 
ornamented with tall chimnies, whose 
foul mouths belch forth clouds of sooty 
blackness, but the loftiest and most 
substantial belongs to tlie town itself. 
At the Corporation Wharf in Montague 
Street the "stack" is 258 feet in 
heiglit, with a base 54 feet in circum- 
ference, and an inside diameter of 12 
feet. About 250,000 bricks were used 
in its construction, which was com- 
pleted in September, 1879. — House- 



holders of an economical turn must 
remember it is not always the cheapest 
plan to clean their chimnies by "burn- 
ing them out," for in addition to the 
danger and risk of damage by so doing, 
the authorities of Moor Street liave the 
peculiar custom of imposing a penalty 
(generally 10s.) when such cases are 
brought before them. Should such an 
event occur by mischance keep all 
doors and windows shut, and do not 
admit the sweeps who may come 
knocking at your door, unless fully 
prepared with tfee half-crowns they 
require as bribes not to tell the police. 
As a rule it is cheaper to trust to 
" Robert " not seeing it. 

China Temple Field was a noted 

jilace for amusements about tiie year 
1820, and was situate where Cattell 
Road is now. Originally it formed 
part of the grounds of Bordesley Hall, 
whicli was wrecked in tlie riots of 
1791. 

Choral Society.— This Society 
held its tirst Choral Concert, August 2, 
1836. Tlie Festival Choral Society 
was established in 1845. 

Cholera. — This dreadful epidemic 
has never yet been felt in severity in 
this town, though several fatal cases 
were reported in August, 1832. In 
July, 1865, great alarm was caused by 
the fact of 243 inmates of the Work- 
liouse being attacked with choleraic 
symptoms, but they all recovered. 

Church Pastoral Aid Society. 

— Tliere is a local branch of this Society 
here, and about £1,300 per annum is 
gathered in and forwarded to the parent 
society, who in return grant sums in 
aid ot the stipends of thirty Curates 
and as many Scripture readers, amount- 
ing to nearly £4,700 per year. 

Churchrates. -Prior to 1831, 
Chnrchrates had been regularly levied, 
and, to a great extent, cheeifully paid, 
but with the other reforms of tliat Re- 
forming age came the desire to re-form 
this impost, by doing away witii it 
altogether, and at a meeting held on 



38 



SIIOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



August 7, 1832, the ratepayers as- 
senibleil not only denounced it, but 
petitioned Parliament for its entire 
abolition. Between that year and 1837, 
Churchrates of 6d. to 9d. in the £ 
were not at all infrequent, but in the 
latter year thei'e was a sweet little row, 
whicli led to an alteration. At a vestry 
meeting held March 28, the I'edoubt- 
able George Frederick .Muntz, with 
George Edmonds, andotLer "advanced" 
men of the times, demanded a personal 
examination of the books, &c. , &c., 
with the result doubtless anticipated 
and wished for — a general shindy, free 
light, and tumult. For his share in 
the riot, G. F. i\I. was put on his trial 
in the following year (March 30, to 
April 1) and had to pay over £2,000 
in the shape of costs, but he may 
be said to have won something after 
all, for a tetter reeling gradually took 
the place of rancour, and a system of 
"voluntary" rates — notabl} one for 
the rebuilding of St. Martin's — was 
happily brought to work. Tlie Bill for 
the abolition of Churchrates was passed 
July 13, 1868. 

ChUPCh Street. -In 1764. at War- 
wick a legal battle was fought as to 
a right of way through the New Hall 
Park, the path in dispute being the 
site of the ])resent Church Street. 

Circuses. — The first notice we 
have of any circus visiting Birming- 
ham is that of Astley's which came 
here October 7, 1787. In 1815 
Messrs. Adams gave performances in a 
"new equestrian circus on the Moat," 
and it has interest in the fact that this 
was the first ap})earance locally of Mr. 
Ryan, a young Irishman, then des- 
cribed as " indisputably the first 
tight-rope dancer in the world of his 
age." Mr. Ryan, a few years later, 
started a circus on his own account, 
and after a few years of tent perform- 
ances, which put money in his pocket, 
ventured on tlie speculation of build- 
ing a permanent structure in Bradford- 
street, opening his "New Grand 
Arena" there in 1827. Unfortunately, 



this proved a failure, and poor Ryan 
went to the wall. The circus (known 
now as the Circus Chapel), long lay 
empt}', but was again le-opened May 
19, 1838, as an amphitheatre, but not 
successfully. In 1839 the celebrated 
Van Amburgh, whose establishment 
combined the attractions of a circus 
and a menagerie, visited this town, 
and his performances were held, lather 
strangely, at the Theatre Royal. On 
the night of the Bull Ring Riots, July 
15th, when there was "a full house, " 
the startling news that a number of 
buildings were on fire, &c. , was shouted 
out just at the moment that Van Am- 
burgh was on the stage with a number 
of his well-trained animals. He him- 
self was reclining on the boards, his 
head resting on the sides of a tawny 
lion, while in his arms was a beautiful 
child, four or five years old, playing 
with the ears of the animal. The in- 
telligence naturally caused great ex- 
citement, but the performer went 
quietly on, hoisting the little darling 
to ills shordder, and putting his ani- 
mals through their tricks as calmly as 
if nothing whatever was the matter. 
In 1842, Ducrow's famous troupe came, 
and once again opened Ryan's Circus 
in the Easter week, and that was the 
last time the building was used for the 
purposH it was originally erected for. 
Cooke's, Hengler's, Newsome's, and 
Sanger's periodical visits are matters 
of modern date. The new building 
erected by Mr. AV. R. Inshaw, at foot 
of Snow Hill, for the purposes of a 
Concert Hall, will be adaptable as a 
Circus. 

Climate. — From the central position 
in which Birmingham is situated, and 
its comparative elevation, the town has 
always been characterised as one of the 
healthiestin the kingdom. Dr. Priestley 
said the air breathed here was as pure 
as any he had analysed. Were he 
alive now and in the habit of visiting 
the neighbourhood of some of our roll- 
ing mills, &c. , it is possible he might 
return a different verdict, but neverthe- 
less the fact remains that the rates of 



bllOWKM-S DICTION' AllV OK HI UM ING II AM. 



39 



mortality still contrast most favourably 
as a<(aiiist other large maiiufacturiiit^ 
towns. 

Clocks. — One of Boulton's special- 
ties was tile manufacture of clocks, but 
it was one of the few brandies that did 
not pay him. Two of his finest 
astronomical clocks were bought bv the 
Empress of Russia, after being offered 
for sale in tliis country in vain. His 
friend, Ur. Small, is saiil to have 
invented a time))ieee containing but a 
single wheel. The "town clocks" of 
the present day are only worth notice 
nn account of their regular irregularity, 
■^nd those who wish to bo always " up 
to the time o' day," had best set their 
watches by the instrument iilaeed in 
the wall of the Midland Institute. The 
dome of the Council House would be a 
grand position in which to place a 
really gooil clock, and if the dials were 
fitteu with electric lights it Avould be 
useful at all liours, from near and far. 

Clubs. — No place in the kingdom 
can record the establishment of more 
clubs than Birmingham, be they 
Friendly Clubs, Jloney Clubs (so- 
called), or tlie moie taking Political 
Clubs, and it would be a hard task to 
name tliem all, or say how they flour- 
ished, or dropped and withered. In 
the years 1850-60 it was estimateil 
that at publicliouses and coff(!ehouses 
there were not less than 180 iloney 
Clubs, the members paying in weekly 
or fortnightly subscriptions of varying 
amount for shares £5 to £100. and 
though there cannot be the slightest 
doubt that many of our present master- 
men owe their success in life to this 
kind of mutual help, the spirit of 
gambling in money shares jiroveil, on 
the whole, to be disastrous to the 
members who went in for good interest 
on their deposits. Of Friendly Clubs 
we shall have something to say under 
another heading. Ke'^pecting the 
Political Clubs and those of a general 
nature we niay say that the earliest we 
have note of is tlie '' Church and King 
Club," whose first meeting was liehl at 
the Royal HoteL Nov. 27, 1792. Of a 



.slightlydifl'erent nature was the "Hamp- 
den Club, "established in 181 5, but which 
was closed bj' the suspension of the 
Habeas Corpus Act in 1817. During 
the troublous times of 1830-40, many 
clubs, or " smoke-room palavers," 
existed, but, perhaps the only one 
that really showed results was the 
Branch Club (or local agency), con- 
nected with the Lanil Scheme of Fear- 
gus O'Connor [see "Land iSocicti>'.s"\, 
anil that ultimatelydwindleii to naught. 
On Jul)' .^, 1847, a club on the plan of 
the London "Whittington" was started 
here, but when or why it ended depon- 
ent knoweth not. — The Union Club- 
house, corner of Newhall Street and 
Colmore Row, which cost£16, 000, was 
built in 1S6S 9, being opened May 3rd 
of the latter year. This must be con- 
sidered as the chief neutral ground in 
local club matters, gentlemen of all 
shades of politics, kc, being members. 
The number of members is limited to 
400, with 50 "temporary" members, 
the entrance fee being £1.5 1.5s., and 
the annual subscription £7 7s. — The 
Town and District Club, opened at the 
Shakespeare Rooms, in August, 1876, 
also started on the non-political theory: 
the town members paying £3 3s per 
annum, and country members a guinea 
or guinea and half, according to their 
residence being within 25 or 100 miles. 
— A Liberal Club was founded October 
16, 1878, under the auspices of ilr. 
Joseph Chamberlain and took posses- 
sion of its present rooms in Corporation 
Street, January 20, 1880, pending the 
completion of the palatial edifice now 
in course of erection in Ednuiiid Street, 
at tlie corner of Congreve Street. The 
"Forward Liberal Club," opened m 
Great Hampton Street, October 30, 
1880. A " Junior Liberal Club " cele- 
brateii their establishment by a meeting 
in the Town Hall, November 16, 1880. 
The Conservatives, of course, have 
not been at all backward in Club 
matters, for there has been some 
institution or other of the kiml con- 
nected with the party for the last 
hundred years. The ]\Iidland Conser- 



40 



SHOWELL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



vative Club was started July i. 1872, 
and has its liead-quarters now in 
AVaterloo-street, the old County Court 
buildings beinj^ remodelled for the 
purpose. A Junior Conservative Club 
opened in Castle Street, June 25, 
1874 ; a Youn^ Men's Conservative 
Club coniniencetl July 26, 1876 ; the 
Belmont Conservative Club, July 30, 
1877 ; and the Hampton Conservative 
Club, August 21st of same year. In 
fact, every ward in the borough, and 
every parish and hamlet in the suburbs 
now has its Con'iervative and Liberal 
Club ; the workingmen liaving also 
had their turn at Club-making, the 
Birmingham Heath working men 
opening up shop, August 25, 1864 ; 
the Sal tie}' boys i:i October, 1868 ; the 
St. Albanites following suit Decem- 
ber 1, 1873 ; and the Ladywood men, 
November 30, 1878. A Club of more 
pretentious character, and called 
par excellence " The Working-man's 
Club," was begun July 20, 1863, but 
the industriously-incliued members 
thereof did not work together well, 
and allowed the affair to drop through. 
Backed by several would-be-thought 
friends of the working class, 
another " Working ilen's Club " 
sprung into existence April 29, 1875, 
with a nominal capital of £2,500 
in 10s. shares. Rooms were opened 
in Corn E.xchange Passage on the 
31st of May, and for a time all 
promised well. Unfortunately the 
half-sovereigns did not come in 
very fast, and the landlord, though 
he knew "Nap" to be a very favourite 
game, did not choose to be caught 
napping, and therefore "took his 
rest " at the end of the fifth half-year, 
and in so doing rent tlie whole fabric 
of the club.— The Edgbaston Art Club 
was organised in 1878 ; the Chess Club 
in 1841 ; the Gern.ania Club in 1856 ; 
the Gymnastic Club in 1866 ; the 
Dramatic Club in May, 1865 ; the Far- 
mer's Club in May, 1864, the Pigeon 
flying Club at Quilter's iu 1875, &c., 
&c. Club law has great attractions for 
the Brums — every profession and every 



trade hath its club, and all the " fan- 
ciers " of every sort and kind club by 
themselves, till their name is" Legion." 

Coaehes. — From its being situated 
as it were in the very heart of the 
kingdom, Birmingham, in the olden 
days, and it is but fifty j'ears ago, was 
air important converging central-point 
of the great mailcoach system, and a 
few notes in connection therewith can- 
not be uninteresting Time was when 
even coaching was not known, for 
have we not reail how long it took ere 
the tidings of Prince Ru]iert's attack 
on our town reached London. A great 
fear seems to have possessed the minds 
of the powers that were in regard to 
any kind of quick transmission what- 
ever, for in the year 1673 it was 
actually proposed "to suppress the 
public co:iches that ran within fifty or 
sixty miles of Loudon," and to limit 
all the other vehicles to a speed of 
"thirty miles per day in summer, and 
twenty-five in winter" — for what 
might not be dreaded from such 
an announcement as tliat "that re- 
markable swift travelling coach, ' The 
Fly,' would leave Birmingham on Mon- 
days and reach London on the 
Thursdays following." Prior to and 
about 1738, an occasional coach was 
put on the road, but not as a regular 
and periodical conveyance, the fare 
to London being 25 shillings, "children 
on lap, and lootmen behind, being 
charged half-price." A " Flying 
Coacii " commenced running direct to 
the Jiletropolis on May 23th, 1745, and 
was evidently thought to be an event 
of some importance, as it was adver- 
tised to do the distance in two days 
"if the roads permitted." In July, 
I782,thesaine journey was accomplished 
in 14 hours, showing a great improve- 
ment in the arrangements of the road. 
The first mail coaches for the convey- 
ance of letters was started by Mr. Pal- 
mer, of B^th, in 1784, the earliest 
noticeil as ]iassinf,' through here being 
on August 23, 1785, but the first direct 
mail from this town dates only from 
May 25, 1812. In February, 1795, 



8H0WELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



41 



the Western mailcoaches were delayed 
nearly a week together in consequence 
ot a raind thaw rendering the roads 
impassal'le. In 1777 lifty-two coaches 
passed through liere to London and 
sixteen to Bristol every week. In 1829 
at least 100 departed from or passed 
through the town daily, 550 persons 
travelling between here and London. 
In J832 Mr. Lecount estimated the 
general results oftheroadand canal traf- 
fic between here and London as follows : 
Pessengers, 233,155 ; goods, 62,389 
tons ; parcels, 46,799 ; beasts, 50,839 ; 
sheep, 365,000 ; pigs, 15,364; the 
amount expended in cost of transit be- 
ing £1,338,217. In 1837 it was esti- 
mated that £6,789 was received per 
week from coach passengers on the road 
from here to Lon ion, £1,571 for parcels 
per coach, and £729 from persons post- 
ing along the same roads ; and that 
£8,120 was r-ceived for goods by canals 
and waggons, not including ii'on, tim- 
ber, cattle, minerals, or other goods at low 
tonnage — £1'1 ,2Q2 per rueek. There was, 
notwithstanding the large number of 
coaches leaving here eveiy day, no 
direct conveyance from Birmingharn to 
Edinburgh. The best and usual route 
was by Walsall, JIanchester. Preston, 
and Carlisle ; distances and timesbeing, 
Manchester, 78^ miles, 8 iiours, fare, 
14:S. ; Jilanchester to Carlisle, 118 miles, 
12 hours 55 minutes by the mail, in- 
cluding stoppage of fifty minutes at 
Preston foi post office purposes, fare, 
£1 2s. 6d. ; Carlisle to Edinburgh, 95 
miles, 9 hours 35 minutes, fare, I83. ; 
coachmen and guards' fees about 15s. ; 
all hotel charges, &c. , were paid by the 
passenger, Totaldistance, 291^ niiles ; 
travelling time, SOj hours ; cost, 
£3 9s. 6d., in all. "The mail coach 
which left the Albion reached London 
in 10^ hours, which would hi reckoned 
as very good travelling, even in these 
days. For some time alter the intro- 
duction of railways, the coaching in- 
terest was still of some account, lor as 
late as 1810 there were 54 coaches and 
omnibuses running from here every 24 



hours. — There has been a kind of 
modern revival of tlie good old coach- 
ing days, but it has not become 
popular ill this part of the country, 
thou<,'li f[nite a summer f ature on the 
Brighton Road. A tonr-in-liand, driven 
by the Eirl ot Aylesford, was put on 
the road from here to Coventry, at 
latter end of April, 1878 ; and another 
ran for part of the summer, in 1880, 
to Leamington. The introduction of 
railways set many peisons to work on 
the making of " steam coaches " 
to travel on the highways, Cap- 
tain Ogle coming here on one of 
his own inventing S'^pteraber 8th, 
1832, direct from Oxford, having 
travelled at from ten to fourteen miles 
per hour. Our local geniuses were not 
behindliand, and Messrs. Heiton Bros. , 
and the well-known Dr. Church 
brought out m ichines for the purpose. 
Both parties started joint-stock com- 
panies to carr}' out their inventions, 
and in that respect both pirties suc- 
ceeded, for such was the run for shares, 
that in June, 1833, when Heatons' 
prospectus :?ame out, offering to the 
]>ublic 2,000 £10 sh^ires, no less than 
3,000 were asked fur in one day. 
Tliere was also a third conipaii}' in the 
field, the " London, Birmingham, and 
Liverjiool," with a nominal capital of 
£300,000 ; but none of them prospered ; 
for though they could construct the 
engines and the coaches, they could not 
make receipts cover expenses. Heatous' 
ran tlieirs for some little time to 
Wolverhampton and back, and even to 
the Lickey ; the Doctor came out every 
month with sometliing new ; and even 
the big Co. managed to bring one car- 
riage all the wav from London (.\ugust 
28th, 1835). Others besides Cajitain 
Ogle also came here on their iron 
horses, and there wasplentj' of fun and 
interest for the lookers-ou generally — 
but no trade and no interest for the 
speculators. For steam coaches of the 
present day, see " Tramways." 

CoeI was not in common use much 
before 1625, and for a long time was 



42 



S HOWELL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



rather slmnned by householders, more 
especialh^ in the rural parts whei-o the 
black diamonds were looked upon as 
something altogether uncanny. Prior 
to the opening of the first canal, the 
roads leading from the Black Country 
daily presented the curious feature of 
an almost unending procession of carts 
and waggons bringing the supDlies 
needed by our manufacturers, and high 
prices were the rule of the day. Tlie 
first boatload was brought in on No- 
vember 6th, 1769, and soon after the 
price of coal at the wharf was as low as 
4d. per cwt. — See ^'Trades." 

Cobbett delivered a lecture on the 
Corn Laws, &e. , at Beardsworth's Re- 
pository, May 10. 1830. 

Cobdeil. — There was a general 
closing ot places of business here on 
April 6, lS6o, tlie day on which Richard 
Cobden was buried. 

Coekflg-hting".—^ ris'i- Gazette of 
December 26, 1780, announced in one 
of its advertisements that "the Annual 
Subscription Match of Cocks " would 
be fought at Duddeston Hall, com- 
monly callel Yauxhall," on the New 
Year's day and day after. — The same 
paper printed an account of another 
Cockfight, at Sutton, as late as April 
17, 1875. 

Coffeehouses.— Coffee, which takes 
its name troni tlie Abyssinian province 
of Katfa, was introduced into this 
country in the earl}^ part of the I7th 
century, the first colfeehouse being 
ojiened in London in 1652. Until very 
late years coffeehouses in provincial 
towns were more noted for their stuffy 
untidiness than aught else, those of 
Birmingham not excepted, but quite a 
change has come o'er the scene now, 
and with all the brave glitter of paint 
and glaring gas they attempt to rival 
tlie public-houses. The Birmingham 
Coffeehouse Company, Limited (ori- 
ginally miscalled The Artizan's Club- 
house Company), which came into ex- 
istence ilarch 27, 1877, with a capital 
of £20,000 in 10s. shares, has now 



near upon a score of houses open, and 
their business is so successful that 
very fair dividends arc realised. 

Coffins. — Excluding textile fabrics 
and agricultural produce, Birmingham 
supplies almost every article necessary 
for the comfort of man's life, and it is 
therefore not surprising that some little 
attention has been given to the con- 
struction of the "casket" which is to 
enclose his remains when dead. Coffins 
of wood, stone, leavl, &c., have been 
known for centuries, but coffins of glass 
and coffins of brass must be ranked 
amongst the curiosities of our later 
trades. Two of the latter kind polished, 
lacquered, and decorated in a variety 
of ways, with massive handles and em- 
Idazoned shields, were made here some 
few years back for King Egbo Jack 
and another dark-skinned potentate of 
South Africa. " By particular request " 
each of these coffins were provided with 
four padlocks, two outside and two in 
side, though how to use the latter must 
have been a puzzle even for a dead king. 
The Patent J\letallic Air-tight Coffin 
Co., whose name pretty accurately 
describes their productions, in 1861 in- 
troduced hernietic;illy-sealed coffins 
with plate glass panels in the lid, ex- 
ceedingly itseful articles in case of con- 
tagious diseases, &c., &c. The trade 
in coffin "furniture" seems to have 
originated about 1760, when one in- 
genius " Mole " pushed it forward; and 
among the list of patents taken out in 
1796 by a local worthy there is one for 
"a patent coffin," though its particu- 
lar speciality could not have met with 
much approval, as although some 
thousands of bodies have been removed 
from our various sepultures nothing 
curious or rarer than rotten boards and 
old lead has been brought to light. 

Coinagre — So far had our patriotic 
forefathers proceeded in the art of 
making money that about the middle 
of the last century it was estimated 
over one half the copper coin in circu- 
lation was counterfeit, and that nine- 
tenths thereof was manufactured in 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



43 



Birmingham, wliere 1,000 hairp:>nnies 
could be IkkI of the makers lor 'iSs. 
Boultou's l)ig pennies were counterfeited 
by lead pennies faced Avith copper. 
Oi!e of the.sa would be a curiosity now. 
The bronze coinage was first issued 
December l,18C0,and soon after Messrs. 
Ralph Heaton & Sons made 100 tons of 
bronze coins for the Mint. They are 
distingui-;hed by the letter " H " 
under the date. The number, weight, 
and value of this issue were as fol- 
lows : — 

Tons Noiiiiiial Value. 

■6-2 or 9,505,245 pennies .. £:i.j,896 17 1 

2S or 5,504,88-2 halfpennies .. 11, 4(59 10 11 

10 or 3,SS4,441J farthings .. 4.090 5 4 



100 or 15,484,043 pieces 



£40,902 13 4 



The same firm has had several similar 
contracts, tlu^ last being in hand at 
the present time. The bronze is com- 
posed of 9.5 parts copper, 4 tin, and 1 
zinc. 

Colleges. — See " ScJiools," kc. 

ColmOPe Row, whicli now extends 
from the Council House to the Great 
Western Hotel (including Ann Street 
and Moauioutii Street) is named after 
the Colmore family, the owners of the 
freehold. Great Colmore Street, Caro- 
line and Cbarlotte Streets, Great and 
Little Charles Streets, Cregoe, Lionel, 
and Edmund Streets, all take their 
names from the same source. 

Colonnade. — This very handsome 
and(l'or l^irminghain)rather novel-look- 
ing building, was opened Jan. 10, 
1883, bsing erected by Mr. A. Hum- 
page, at a cost of about £70,000, from 
the designs of Mr. W. H. Ward. Tlie 
Colonnade proper runs rouu'l the entire 
"building, giving frontage to a number 
of shops, the ujiper portion of the 
block being partly occupied by the 
Midland Conservative Club, and the 
rest of the building, with the basement, 
fitted up as a Temperance Hotel and 
■" Restaurant." 

Comets. — Tiieinhabitantswere very 
much terrifietl by the appearance of a 



comet in December, 16S0. At Michael- 
mas, 1811, an exceedingly brilliant 
comet api)eared, supposed to have been 
the same whi^ih was seen at the birth 
of Jesus Christ. Donati's comet was 
first observed June 2, 1858, but was 
most brilliant in September and October. 
The comets of 1361 and 1883 were also 
visible here. 

Conimissioneps.— The first local 

governing bo ly of the town, though 
with but the merest shadow of nower 
as compared with the Corporation of 
to-day, were the Street Commissioners 
a])pointed umier an Act of Geo. IIL in 
1769, their duties being confined almost 
solely to repairing, cleansing, and 
"enlightening" the streets of the 
town, appointing watchmen, &c., their 
power of raising funds being limited to 
Is. in the £. By succeeding Acts of 
1773, 1801, 1812, and 1828, the powers 
of the Commissioners were considerably 
enlarged, and they must be credited 
with the introduction of the first set of 
local improvement schemes, including 
the wiilening of streets, clearing the 
Bull Ring of the liouses round St. 
Martin's Church, making owners lay 
out projier streets for building, purchas- 
ing the market tolls, building ot Town 
Hall and Market Hall, regulating 
carriages, and "suppressing the smoke 
nuisance arising from engines com- 
monly called steam engines," &c. , 
and, though they came in for their 
full share of obloquy and political 
rancour, it cannot be denied they 
did good ami faithful service to 
the town. The Commissioners had 
the power of electing tliemselves, every 
vacancy being filled as it occurred by 
those who remained, and, as the Act 
of 1823 increased their number to 
no less than 89, perhaps some little 
excuse may be made for the would-be 
leading men of the day who were left 
out in the cold. B' that as it may, 
the Charter of Incorporation put them 
aside, and gave their power and au- 
thority into the hands of a po[)ularly- 
elected representative body. The Com- 



44 



SHOWELL.S DIGTIONARi' OF BIRMINGHAM. 



inissioners, liowever, remained as a 
body in name until the last day of De- 
cember, 1851, when, as a token of re- 
membrance, they presented the town 
■with the ornamental touutain formerly 
standijig in the centre ot tlie Market 
Hall, but which has been removed to 
Higligate Park. On the transfer of 
their powers to the Corporation, the 
Commissioners haii'ied over a schedule 
of indebtedness, showing tliat there 
was then due on mortgage of the " lamp 
rate," of 4 per cent., £87,350 ; on the 
"Town Hall rate," at 4 per cent., 
£25,000 ; annuities, £947 3s. 4d. ; 
besides £7, 800, at 5 per cent., borrowed 
by the Duddestou and Necliells Com- 
missioners, making a total of £121,097 
3s. 4d, 

Commons. — Handsworth Common 
was enclosed in 1793. An Act was 
passed ill 1793 tor enclosing and allott- 
ing the commons and waste land in 
Birmingliam. The commons and open 
fields of Erdington and Witton were 
enclosed and divided in 1801. 

Concert Halls, &e.— The Birm- 
ingham Concert Hall, better known as 
" Holder's," was built in 1846, though 
for years previous the house was noted 
for its harmonic meetings ; the present 
Hall has seats for 2,200 persons. - 
Day's Concert Hall was erected in 1862 
the opening night, September 17, being 
for the benefit of the Queen's Hospital, 
when £70 was realise'! theretbr ; the 
Hall will accommodate 1,500. — The 
Museum Concert Hall was opened Dec. 
20, 1863, and will hold about 1,000 
people. — A very large building inten- 
ded for use as a Concert Hall, &,c. , 
will soon be ojieiied in Snow Hill, to 
be conducted on temperance [uinciples. 
— A series of popular Monday evening 
concerts was commenced in the Town 
Hall, Nov. 12,1844, and was continued 
for nearly two years. — Twopenny 
weekly " Concerts for the i'eojile " 
were started at the Music Hall, Broad 
Street (now Prince of Wales' Theatre), 
March 25, 1847, but they did not take 
well. — Threepenny Saturday evening 



concerts in Town Hall, were begun in 
November, 1879. 

Conferences and Congresses 

of all sorts of people have been held 
here from time to time, and a few dates 
are here annexed : — A Conference of 
Weslevan ministers took place in 1836, 
in 1844, 1854, 1865, and 1879, being 
the 136th meeting of that body. Four 
hundred Congregational ministers met 
in Congress Oct. 5, 1862. A Social 
Science Congress was held Sept. 30, 
1868. A Trades Union Conference Aug. 
23, 1869. National Education League 
Conference, Oct. 12, 1869 Nati mai 
Republican Cout'erence, May 12, 1873. 
Conference on Sanitary Reform, Jan. 
14, 1875. A Co-o[ierative Societies 
Conference, Jul)' 3, 1875. A Confer- 
ence of Christians in Needless Alley,. 
Oct. 27, 1875. The Midland Counties' 
Church Defence Associations met in the 
Exchange, Jan. 18, 1876, and on the 
9th of Feb. the advocates for disestab- 
lishing and disendowing the Church 
said their say in the Masonic Hall, 
resolutions in favour of sharing the 
loaves and fishes being enthusiastically 
carried bj' the good people who covet 
not their neighbours' goods. A Do- 
mestic Economy Congress was held 
July 17, 1877. A Church Conference 
held sittings Nov. 7, 1877. The friends 
of Intfjrnational Arbitration met in the 
Town Hall, May 2, 1878, when 800 
delegates were present, but the swords 
are not yet beaten into ploughshares. 
How to lessen the output of coal was 
discussed March 5, 1878, by a 
Conference of Miners, who not 
being then able to settle the ques- 
tion, met again June 17, 1879, 
to calmly consider the advisableness of 
laying idle all the coalpits in the 
country for a time, as the best remedy 
they could find for the continued re- 
duction of wages. The IStli Annual 
Conference of the British Association 
of Gas Managers was ludd here June 14, 
1881, when about 500 of those gentle- 
men attended. A considerable amount 
of gassy talk anent the wonderful future 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF 13IRMINGHAM. 



45 



naturally arose, and an endowment 
fund oF £323 was banked to provide a 
medal for "any orif,'inality in connec- 
tion with the nianulacture and applica- 
tion of j^as," but the Gas Coniniittee of 
Birmingham, without any vast im- 
provement in the manufacture, still 
keep to their original idea of sharing 
profits with ratepayers, handing over 
£25,000 each year to the Borongli rates. 
On I'.ank Holiday, August 6,1883, a 
Conference of Bakers took ]dace here, 
and at the same date the 49th "High 
Court " of Foresters assembled at the 
Town Hall, their last visit having been 
in 1849. 

Conservative Associations have 

been in existence for at least tifty 
years, as the formation of one in De- 
cember, 1834, is mentioned in the 
papers of the period. The present one, 
which is formed on a somewhat similar 
plan to that of the Liberal Associa- 
tion, and consists of 300 representa- 
tives chosen fron\ the wards, held its 
first meeting J\lay 18, 1877. As- 
sociations of a like nature have been 
loimed in most of the wards, and 
in Balsall Heath, Moseley, Aston, 
Handsworth, and all the suburbs and 
places around. 

Constables.— la 1776 it was neces- 
sary to have as many as 25 constables 
sworn in to protect the farmers coming 
to the weekly market. — See also 
^^ Police." 

Consuls. — There are Consulates 
here for the following countries (for 
addresses see Directoru) : — Austria, 
Belgium, Brazil, Chili, France, Ger- 
many, Greece, Ldjeria, Portugal, S[iain 
and Italy, Turkey, United States, 
United States of Columbia, and Uru- 
guay. 

Convents. — See " Religious Insti- 
tutions. " 

Co-opepative Societies at one 

time were put in the same category as 

Chartist, Socialist, and Communistic 

Associations, all banned alike. Never- 

heless, in the old " Reform days" the 



theory of co-operition was most en- 
thusiastically taken up by the workers 
of this town, even more so than in any 
other place in the kingdom. As early 
as 1828 several attemj)ts haii been 
made to form such societies, but the 
one which appeared the most likely to 
succeed was the so-called " Labour 
Exchange," situated in the old Coach 
Yard, in Bull Street, formed on the 
basis so eloquently and perseveringly 
advocated by Robert Owen. The 
principle of this Exchange was to 
value all goods brought in at the cost 
of the raw material, plus the labour 
and work bestowed thereon, the said 
labour being calculateil at the uniform 
rate of 6d. per hour. On the reception 
of the goods "notes" to the value 
were given which could be handed 
over as equivalent for any other 
articles there ou sale, and for a time 
tills rather crude plan was successful. 
Sharp customers, however found that 
by giving in an advanced valuation of 
their own goods they could by using 
their " notes" procure others on which 
a handsome profit was to be made out- 
side the Labour Mart, and this ulti- 
mately brought the Exchange to grief. 
Mr. William Pare and Mr. George 
Jacob Holyoake, were foremost among 
the advocates of Co-operation at the 
period, and a most interesting history 
of "Co-operation in England" has 
been written by the latter gentleman. 
Other societies were also in operation 
from time to time, the longest-lived 
being the " Economic Provision Com- 
pany," which was commenced at 
Handsworth in 1830 by some of the 
workers at Soho and Soho Foundry, 
139 of whom clubbed 20s. each as a 
starting fund. After a few months' 
trial, the protits were allowed to accu- 
mulate until thi'y made iq) £5 per 
share, on whith capital no less than 
£6,000 were paid in dividends during 
the first thirty years. The Supply 
Associations of tlie present day are 
somewhat differently constituted, such 
establishments as tiie one in Corpora- 
tion Street (formerly in Cannon Street) 



46 



SIIOWELL's DIOTIONAUY of BIKMINGHAM. 



and that in High Street being on the 
most extensive scale, offering to tlie 
general public all the advantages 
derivable from the use of large capilal, 
combined with a fair division of profits 
to the customer, as well as to the shire- 
holders. The Birmingham Houseliold 
Supply Association in Corporation 
Street supplies all the necessaries re- 
quired in the household, in addition 
to eatables and drinkables of the very 
best quality, including Messrs. Walter 
Showell and Sons' ales, wliich are sent 
out at the same prices as from the 
firm's own offices, either in cask or 
bottle. 

COPnavii. — The ancient inhabi- 
tants of this part of England, but 
who were subdued by the Romans. 
Whether the said inhabitants had any 
name for the particular spot now called 
Birmingham must for ever remain 
doubtful. 

Corn Exchange, in High-street, 
was opened October 28, 1847. The 
original capital of the Company Avas 
£5,000, in shares of £25 each ; but the 
total cost of erection was a little over 
£6,000. The length of the interioi is 
172 feet and the breadth 40 feet. 

COPn Laws. — Long before the for- 
mation ot the Anti-Corn Law League 
iu 1838, a movement for the repeal of 
the obnoxious iii-iposts had been started 
in this town, a petition being sent 
from here to Parliamentin March, 1815, 
with 48,600 signatures attached. The 
doings of the League and their ulti- 
mate success is an off-told tale, the 
men of liirmingham of course taking 
their part in the struggle, whicli culmi- 
nated on tlie 26thof June, 1S46, in the 
passing of Sir Robert Peel's Bill for the 
total repeal of all duties levied on corn 
and breadNtuil's. 

COPOnePS. — The first borough 
coroner, the late Dr. Birt Davies, was 
appointed May 15, 1839, and he held 
the ofifice till July, 1875, when Mr. 
Henry Hawkes was chosen as his suc- 
cessor, only one member of the Town 
Council voting against him. The pre- 



ent coroner has introduced several 
improvements on the old sj'stern, 
especially in the matters of holding 
inquests at public-houses, and the 
summoning of jurors Formerly the 
latter were chosen from the residents 
nearest to the scene of death, some 
gentlemen being continually called 
upon, while the occasional exhibition 
of a dead body in the back lumberroom 
of an inn yard, among broken bottles 
and gaping stablemen, was not con- 
ductive to the dignity of a coroner's 
court or particularly agreeable to the 
unfortunate surgeon who might have 
to perform a pout mortem. Thanks to 
the persevering tenacity of Jlr. Hawkes 
we have a proper court iu Moor-street, 
and a mortuary at every police station 
to which bodies can at once be taken. 
The jurors are now chosen by rotation, 
so that having been once called upon 
to act as a gooel citizen in sucli a capa- 
city no gentleman need fear a fresh 
summons for some years to come. Mr. 
Hooper, the coroner for South Staf- 
fordshire, received his appointment in 
1860. 

COPpOPation. — rhe Charter of 
Incorporation of the Borough of Birm- 
ingham, authorising the formation of 
a Governing body, consisting of Mayor, 
Aldermen, and Councillors, dul}' 
elected by the Burgesses, dates from 
October '31, 1838.' Tiie elections 
took place in December, the first 
meeting being held on the 27. The 
borough was originally divided into 
13 wards, but has since been, by Order 
in Council, made into 16, though the 
number of Aldermen (16) and Coun- 
cillors (48) has not been increased. 
The IMayor is elected for one year, the 
Councillors for three, and the Alder- 
men for six. The first ilayor chosen 
was William Sehotield, Esq., who was 
succeeded by P. H Muntz, Esq., iu 
1839 and 1840, the election taking 
place at the November sitting in each 
year. Since 1840, the Mayoral chair 
has been successively filled by : — 

1841, S. Beale ; 1842, J. James ; 
1843, T. AVeston ; 1844, T. Phillips ; 



SHOWELL'S DICTIOXARV OF BIJiMKXGUAM. 



Ittl' u\^-V"' ^^'^^' '^^'- Lucy 
16^3, J. Baldwiu ; 1854, J. I'almer- 
1S55 T. R. T. Hod^'so,, ; lS5d V 

f«fin i p',^',= ^85^' '^- Lloyd; 
ISfii' 9v^^"^>'^! 1S6.3, W. Holliday 

iS H- u^n°">' ^^^^' T. Avery 
1868, H. Holland ; 1869, T. Prime • 

lS/2, A Biggs ; 1873, J. Chamberlain ; 
riu ', '^; Chamberlain; 1875, J 
Ohamberlain ; 1876, G Baker ■ 

?s~q' \ ^^','"''' ' 18'^' J- ColliniC.s ,' 
io/y, K. (^hamoerlain ; 1880 "r 
Chamberlain ; ISSl, T. Avery ; isS"'' 
V). ^Vhice; 1SS3, W. Cook ; 1884 w' 

Maruneau. ' 

The members of the Council in 1S(J9 

subscribed £200 (or the purchase of a 

^ ilayors Cham," the tirst to wear 
tJie glittering gaud," strange to say, 

^eing a Quaker, Charles Stui|e to Jt. 

io this Cham a valuable addition lias 

«oith£loO presented to the Town 
Council by Mr W. Spencer, June 27 

Bummgham, and which was appro- 
priately mounted. Forthanameiind 
addiesses o the Aldermen and Coun- 
uUors 01 the various wards (chan-es 
taking place y.arly) reference should 

Lr'tnbr;'^'^^''"""«"^-"^-i 

Mil also be found a list of all the 
borough officials, &c. 

a.a^inr??P^i°" StOCk.-Tlie balance 
ag^iust the Bo.ough m the shape of 

wneu the Town Council took over 

il-l.lOO. By the end of 1864 the 
Borough debts stood at ^eSs'sSo 
a varying rates of interest. Afte; 

Workr^nrtl'''''^^^^ ^"^^^^S 
"Oiks, and the commencement of the 

vastly increased, the town's indebted- 



47 

i.b,„b,14o. The old system of ob- 
tdiumg loans at the market i)rice of 
the day, and the rer,ui,.enumt' of the 
i^ocil Government Board that every 
separate OHii should be repaid in a cei- 
tanlnnit.d number of yei,.«, ,vhen"o 
aige an amount as 6^ millions came to 

be handled necessitated a consolidation 
scheme, which has since been car- e 

out to the relief of present ralepay. 
and a saving to those who will fallow 

Boioughon loans were converted into 

stoT'T.!' *^""'^' '"^^ ^ half per cent. 

htOLk at the commencement of 1881 

the operation being performed by the' 

Bank ot England. The tenders for 

same were opened Jan. 18th, when ,t 

was found that £1,200,000 had been ap. 

plied tor at an.l slightly over tl e 

minmuim rate of £98 per £100 The 

remam.ng £800,000 was allotted to a 

syndicate, whc afterwards applied fo^ 

t at the minimum price. Persons 

having money to invest cannot do better 

tlian visit the Borough Treasurer, i\lr 

Hughes, who will give every infornia- 

t on as to the mode of investing even a 

f.o?iSti:k:"''^'^"-"^'"^-^-p- 



Council House. -See -FaWr 

■oicilamg^. ' 

of??i""^^ Areas.-The total areas 
01 tins and adj,.uiing counties are ■- 
Warwickshire 566,458 acres, AVorces- 
terslure 4/2,453, StaHordshire 732,434 
and Shropshire 841,167. 

County C0UPt.-First opened in 
Binningbam at the Waterloo Rooms, 
\V aterloo S reet, April 2Sth, 1S47. R 
G. Weilord Esq., Q.C., acting as 
.udge until Septen.ber, 1872. He was 
tolowedbyH. W. C^Ie, Esq., QC 
who died m June, 1876 ; James Mo^! 

eiam, Esq., Q.C.. who died Sept. 19, 
1864: the present judge being W. 

?^To^'"' i^'/l- ^-C- The Ch-cuii 
(No. 21, includes the towns and places 
ot Aston, Atherstone, Balsall Heath 
Curd worth, Castle Bromwich, Erdincr. 
ton, Gravelly Hill, Handswonh. Har- 



48 



SHOWELLS DICTIOXARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



borne. King's Heath, King's Noiton, 
Lea JIarston, Little Brom.vich, ilax- 
stoke, Minworth, Moseley, Nether 
Whitacre, Perry Barr, Saltley, Selly 
Oak, Sutton Coldtielii, Tamworth, 
Water Orton and Wishaw. 

County Officials. —For names and 
audresses of the Lord Lieutenant, 
Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff, 
. County Magistrates, and otlier official 
gentlemen connected with the county 
of Warwick, see "Red Book." 

CoUPt of Bankruptcy holden at 
Rirmingliani (at the County Court, in 
Corporatio:: Street) comprises all the 
places within the district of the County 
Court of Warwickshire holden at Bir- 
mingham, Tamworth and Solihull, and 
all the places in the district of the 
County Court of Worcestershire holden 
at Redditcii. 

COUPt of Judicature — Birming- 
ham, Wolverhanioton, Walsall, and 
Worcester, are District Registries of 
the Supreme Court of Judicature. 

Court Leet— The origin of that 
)ieculiar kind of Local Government 
]-5oard, known in the olden days as the 
Court Leet of the Manor of Birming- 
ham, is lost in the misty shadows of 
our past histor}'. Doubtless there were 
many onerous duties connected there- 
with, and very possiblj' the othcials 
considered tliemselves as " men of high 
degree," but what those duties actually 
were, and what the rerauneration for 
their due fulfilment, appears to have 
been matter of doubt, even so late as a 
hundred and a few odd years ago. The 
rights, powers, and privileges of the 
officers of this Court had evidently 
been questioned ly some of our Radical- 
minded great-grandfathers, as we find 
it was deemed necessary to assemble a 
jury on the 20th day ot October, 1779, 
to " ascertain and present" the same, 
and from a little pamphlet at that time 
published, we extract the following :— 

The OJfi.ce of Low Bailiff. — '"n\Q 
Jury find and present that this officer 
is annually elected by the Jury, and 
that liis oflace is in the nature of Sheriff 



of the Manor ; that to hira all the pro- 
cess of the Court is to be directed, and 
that it is his right and duty to summon 
all Juries to this court. And the Low 
Bailiff, at each fair, is entitled to one 
penn y for each stall or standing pitched 
in the said fairs." 

The Office of High Bailiff.— "The 
Jury find and present that this Officer 
is annually elected by the Jury ; and 
that it is his duty to see that the fairs 
be duly proclaimed, and that due order 
be preserved in the fairs and markets ; 
and if he sees any person in such fairs 
or markets using unlawful games, to 
the injury of ignorant persons and 
thoughtless youths, he may seize them 
and commit them to custody, to be 
taken before a proper magistrate. That 
it is his duty to see that all persons 
exposing any wares for sale in the fairs 
or markets, or as shopkeepers within 
the manor, have legal weights and 
measures. " 

Tiie other officers of the Court Leet, 
whose duties are also defined in the 
aforesaid [lamphlet, are the "Con- 
stables," the " Headborough," two 
"Atfeirers" (who looked after the 
rents and dues belonging to the Lord 
of the Manor), two " Leather Sealers" 
(once important officers, when there 
was a Leather Market, but whose duties 
in and about the year named seemed to 
be confined to attending at the yearly 
dinners given by the High Bailifi), 
two " Ale-conners, otherwise high 
tasters," and two " Flesh-conners, 
otherwise low tasters." From their 
name it might be thought the duties of 
the last named officers were limited to 
the inspection of meat or flesh, but it 
will be seen that they were of a more 
comprehensive character : — 

" Their duty is to see that all 
butchers, fishmongers, poulterers, 
bakers, and other sellers of victuals, do 
not sell or expose to sale within this 
Manor any unwholesome, corrupt, or 
contagious flesh, fish, or other victuals; 
and in case any such be exposed to sale, 
we find that the said Officers, by the 
ancient custom of the Manor may 



SnOWELLS DICTIONARY OK IJIKMIXGIIAM. 



49 



seize, burn, or destroy the same, or 
otherwise prescut tlie oU'eiiilers at the 
next Court Leet to be hohleu for this 
Manor. " 

As we are now officered, inspec- 
tored and policed, and generally looked 
after as to our eating and drinking, 
&c., in the most improved modern 
style ]iossible, it is not necessary to 
further fill space by saying what the 
" Head borough " had to do, or how 
many "Constables" assisted him. 
The last meeting of the Court 
Leet, long shorn of all its honours 
and privileges, was held October 28, 
1851. 

Court of Reeopd.— This was also 
(tailed the " Mayor's Court," and was 
authorised in the Charter of Incorpora 
tion for the recovery of small debts 
under £20, the oflicers consisting of a 
Judge, Registrar, and two Sergeants- 
at-Mace. 'in 1852 (Oct. 26) the Town 
Council petitioned the Queen to trans- 
fer its powers to tlie County Court, 
which was acceded to in the following 
spring. 

Court of Requests.— Constituted 

by Act of Parliament in 1752 this 
Court for " the more easy and speedy 
recovery of small debts within the town 
of Birmingham and the adjoining 
hamlet of Deiitend" continued in 
operation until the present County 
Court system became the law of the 
land. Its powers were originally limited 
to debts not excee<ling 40s. in amount 
(which was increased to £5 by an Act 
passed in 1807), the periods of 
imprisonment to which defaulting 
debtors were liable being aj^portioned 
out at the rate of one day in durance 
for each shilling due, except in special 
cases, wherein an addition (not to 
exceed three months) tnight be the 
reward for fraudulent concealment of 
property from creditors. The "Court" 
consisted of no less rhau six dozen 
judges, or, as the Act styled them, 
"CoHindssioners,"froiu whosedecisions 
there was no appeal whatever. These 
Commissioners were at first chosen 
from the ratepayers in a haphazard 



style, no mental or property 
qualification whatever being re- 
quired, though afterwards it was 
made incumbent that they should be 
possessed of an income from real es- 
tate to value of £50 per year, or be 
worth £1,000 personalty. From the 
writings of William Hutton, himself 
one of the Commissioners, and other 
.sources, we gather that justice, or what 
was supposed to be ecjuivalent thereto, 
was administered in a rough-and-ready 
fashion of the rudest kind, the cases 
being frequently disposed of at the rate 
of thirty to forty per hour, and when 
we consider that imprisonment re- 
sulted at an average of one case 
in ten the troubles attendant 
upon impecuniosity in those days 
may be better imagined tiien described. 
The Court House, which is now occu- 
pied by sundry tradesmen, lay a little 
back from High -street, nearly opposite 
New-stieet, and in itself was no mean 
structure, having been (it is said), 
erected about the yesiv 1350, as the 
town house of John Jennens, or Jenn- 
ings, one of the wealthy family, the 
claims to whose estates have been 
unending, as well as unprofitable, 
barring, of cour.se, to the long- robed 
and bewigged fraternity. A narrow 
passage from the right of the entrance 
hall leads by a dark winding staircase 
to the cellars, now tilled with merchan- 
dise, but which formerly constituted 
the debtors' prison, or, as it was vul- 
garly called, "The Louse Hole," and 
doubtless from its frequently-crowde 
and horribly-dirty condition, with half- 
starved, though often debauched and 
dissipated, occupants, the nasty name 
was not inappropriately given. Shock- 
ing tales have been told of the scenes 
and practices here carried on, and many 
are still living who can recollect the 
miserable cry of " Remember the poor 
debtors," which resounded morning, 
noon, and night from the heavily- 
barred windows of these underground 
dungeons. The last batch of un- 
fortunates her« confined were liberated 
August 16, 1844. 



50 



SHOWELl's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



Creche. — An institution which has 
been open in Bath Row for several 
years, and a great blessing to many- 
poor mothers in its neighbourliood, but 
it IS so little known that it has not met 
with the support it deserves, and is 
therefore crippled in its usefulness for 
want of more subscribers. The object 
of the institution is to afford, during 
the daytime, shelter, warmth, food, 
and good nursing to the infants and 
young children of poor mothers who 
are compelled to be from home at work. 
This is done at the small charf,'e of 2d. 
per day — a sum quite inadequate to 
defray the expenses of the charity. 
The average number of children so 
sheltered is about 100 per week, and 
the number. might be gieatly increased 
if there were more funds. Gifts of 
coal, blankets, linen, perambulators, 
toys, pictures, &c., are greatly valued, 
and subscriptions and donations will 
be gladly received by the hon. trea- 
surer. 

Creseent, Cambridge Street. — 
When built it was thought that the in- 
habitants of the handsome edifices here 
erected would always have an extensive 
view over gardens and green fields, and 
certainly if chimney pots and slated 
roofs constitute a country landsca.pe 
the present denizens cannot complain. 
The ground belongs to the Grammar 
School, the governors of which leased 
it in 1789 to Mr. Charles Norton, for a 
term of 120 years, at a ground rent of 
£155 10s. per year, the lessee to build 
34 houses and spend £12,000 thereon ; 
the yearly value now is about £1,800. 
On the Crescent Wharf is situated the 
extensive stores of Messrs. Walter 
Showell & Sons, from whence the daily 
deliveries of Crosswells Ales are issued 
to their many Birmingham patrons. 
Here may be t.een, stacked tier upon 
tier, in long cool vistas, close upon 
6,000 casks of varying sizes containing 
these celebrated ales, beers, and stouts. 
This stock is kept up by daily supplies 
from the brewery at Langley Green, 
many boats being employed in the 
traffic. 



Cricket. — See " S2)orls." 

Crime. — A few local writers like to 
acknowledge that Birmingham is any 
worse than other large towns in the 
matter of crime and criminals, and the 
old adage respecting the bird that fouls 
its own nest has been more than once 
applied to the individuals who have 
ventured to demur from the boast that 
ours is par excellence, a highly moral, 
fair-dealing, sober, and superlatively 
honest community. Notwithstanding 
the character given it of old, and the 
everlasting sneer that is connected with 
the term " Brummagem," the fast still 
remains that our cases of drunkenness 
are far less than in Liverpool, our petty 
larcenies fewer than in Leeds, our high- 
way robberies about half compared with 
Manchester, malicious damage a long 
way under Sheffield, and robberies 
from the person not more than a third 
of those reported in Glasgow ; while 
as to smashing and coining, though it 
has been flung at us from the time of 
William of Orange to the present day, 
that all the bad money ever made must 
be manufactured here, the truth is that 
five-sixths of tiie villainous crew who 
deal in that commodity obtain their 
supplies from London, and not from our 
little "hardware village." But alas ! 
there is a dark side to the picture, in- 
deed, for, according t» the Registrar- 
General's return of June, 1879 (and the 
proportionate ratio, we are sorry to .say, 
still remains the same), Birmingham 
holdstheunenviableposition of being the 
town where most deaths from violence 
occur, the annual rate per 1,000 being 
1-08 in Birmingham, 99 in Liverpool, 
0-38 in Sheffiehi, 0-37 in Portsmouth, 
the average for the kingdom being even 
less than that— "the proportional fatal- 
ity from violence being almost invari- 
ably more than twice as large in Bir- 
mingham as in Sheffield." 

Cross,— In the Bull Ring, when 
Hutton first came here, a poor wayfarer 
seeking employ, there was a square 
building standing on arches called 
" The Cross," or " Market Cross," the 



8H0WELLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



51 



lower part <(ivin,!,' a small shelter to the 
few eountrywdineu .vho brouglit their 
butter aii(l eggs to market, while the 
chamber above provideil accommoda- 
tion for meetings of a public character. 
When the Corn Cheaping, theShambles, 
and all the other heterogeneous collec- 
tion of tumbledown shanties and 
domiciles which in the cour>e of cen- 
turies had been allowed to gatlier round 
St. JIartin's were cleared awaj', the 
Market Cross was demolished, and its 
exact site is hardly ascertainable. At 
Dale End there was a somewhat similar 
erection known as the " Welsh Cross, " 
taking its peculiar name, says Hutton, 
from the locality then called "Welsh 
End," on account of the number of 
Welsh peo})le living on that side of the 
town ; though why the " Taffies " were 
honoured with a distinct little market 
house of tbeir own is not made clear. 
This building was taken down in 1803, 
the 3-aial clock, weathercock, &c., 
being advertised for sale, October 12, 
1802. 

Crown. — The old Crown Inn, 
Deritend, is one of the very few speci- 
mens we have of the style of architec- 
ture adopted in the days of old, when 
timber was largely used in place of our 
modern bricks. Leland mentions the 
Crown Inn as existing in 1538, and a 
much longer history than that is 
claimed for it. In 1817 there was an- 
other Old Crown Inn in New Street, 
on the spot where Hyam's now stands, 
access to the Cherry Orchard being 
had through its yard, the right of way 
thus obtained being the origin of the 
present Union Passage. 

Crystal Palaces.— It was proposed 

in August, 1853, that the Corporation 
should join with the Midland Railway 
Co. and the Corporation of Sutton in 
the erection of a " Sydenham Palace" 
in Sutton Park : Birmingham to lease 
250 acres for 999 years, at Is. per acre, 
lind from £20,000 to £30,000 for the 
building and divide profits, the Mid- 
laud Railway Co. beingwillingto make 
branch from Bromford and run cheap 
trains. The scheme was highly ap- 



proved, but the Snttonites killed the 
goose tliat was to lay them such golden 
eggs by refusing to lease the land for 
more than ninety-nine years and want- 
ing 20s. per acre reiit. In July, 1877, 
a " Sutton Park Crystal Palace Co. 
(Lira. )" was registered, witli a capital 
of £25,000 in £5 shares, for buying Mr. 
Cole's Promenade Gardens, erecting 
Hotel, Aquarium, Skating Kink, Con- 
cert Hall, Winter Gardens, &c.,and the 
shares were readily taken up. Addi- 
tional grounds were purchased, and 
though the original plans have not yet 
been all carried out, a very pleasant 
resort is to be found there. Day's, in 
Sraallbrook Street, is also called a 
"Crystal Palace," on account of the 
style of decoration, and the immense 
mirror the proprietor purchased from 
the Hyde Park Exhibition of 1851. 

CUFZOn Hall, built originally for 
the purposes of the Dog Shows, was 
opened in 1S65. It is the property of 
a company, and cost about £7,500. 
The building is well suited and has 
been often used for exhibitions, pano- 
ramas, circus entertainments, &c., the 
hall being 103ft. long by 91ft. wide ; 
the stage is of the fullest width, with 
a depth of 45ft. There is room for 
3.000 seats. 

Danielites. — A tribe who eschew 
fish, flesh, and fowl, and drink no 
alcohol ; neither do they snuff, smoke, 
or chew tobacco. At a fruit banquet, 
held on August, 1877, it was decided 
to organise a " Garden of Danielites " 
in Birmingham. 

Dates, — The most complete work 
giving tlie dates of all the leading events 
in the world's history is "Haydn's 
Book of Dates," the latest edition 
bringing them down to 1882. For 
local events, the only " Local Book of 
Dates " published is that of 1874, but 
" Showell's Dictiouarj' of Birmingham" 
(by the same author), will be found to 
contain more reliable data than any 
book hitherto issued. For information 
of a general character, respecting the 
immediate neighbourhood and adjoin- 



52 



SHOWBLL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



ing comities, our readers cannot do bet- 
ter than refer to the files of Birming- 
ham newspapers, preserved in the Re- 
ference Library, or write to the present 
editors of the said papers, gentlemen 
noted for their nrbanity, and readiness 
ti> tell anybody anything. 

Dawson, George, See "Parsons, 
Freachen, and Priests," and "Statues." 

Deaf and Dumb Asylum. —Sec 

" Philanthro2nc Institutions." 

Debating Societies.— From time 

immemorial the Crunis have had their 
little Pnriiaments, mostly in public- 
house parlours and clubrooms, and cer- 
tain Sunday niglits gathering at " Bob 
Edmonds" andotherwell-known houses 
have acquired quite an historical in- 
terest ; but the regularly-coustituted 
" Spouting Clubs" of the present day 
cannot claim a very long existence, 
the Birmingham Debating Society hav- 
ing held their first palaver on the 3rd 
of Dec, 1846. In 1855 they joined the 
Edgbastonians. The latest of the 
kind started in 1884, is known as the 
Birmingham Parliamentary Debating 
Society, and has its premier, parties, 
and political fights, in proper Parlia- 
mentary style. 

Deep stealers. — There was a taste 
for venison in more classes than one in 
1765, for it was found necessary tooffer 
rewards for the detection of those per- 
sons who stole the deer from Aston 
Park. 



Dental Hospital— <S'cc 

fals." 



Hospi- 



Deodands. — Prior to the passing of 
9 and 10 Vict. , 1846, Coroner's Juries 
had the power of imposing a "deodand" 
or penalty on any article or animal 
which had been instrumental in causing 
the death of a human being, the said 
animal or article being forfeited if the 
owner did not pay. 

DePitend. — In some antique records 
the name has been .spelt " Durate- 
hend." For this and other reasons 
it has been thought to have had its 



origin rather from the ancient British, 
as " dur " is still the Welsh word for 
water, and its situation on the Rea (a 
Gaelic word signifjnng a running stream) 
seems to give a little foundation there- 
for. Mr. Toulniin Smith, in whose 
family the "Old Crown House" has 
descended from the time it was built, 
and who, therefore, is no mean au- 
thority, was of opinion that the name 
wasformerly "Der-j^at-end," or "Deer- 
Gate-End," from the belief that in 
ancient days there was here an ancient 
deer forest. Leland said he entered 
the town by "Dirtey," so perhaps 
alter all Deritend only means " the 
dirty end." Like the name of the 
town itself, as well as several other 
parts of it, we can only guess at the 
origin. 

Depitend Bridge.— Old records 

show that some centuries back there 
was a bridge here of some sort, and 
occasionally we find notes of payments 
made for repairs to the roads leading 
to the gates of the bridge, or to the 
watchmen who had charge thereof, 
who appear to have been in the habit 
of locking the gates at night, a proce- 
dure whicli we fear our " Dirtyent " 
neighbours of to-day would be inclined 
to resent. The Act for building the 
present bridge was obtained in 1784 ; 
the work was commenced in 1789, but 
not completed till 1814. 

Dickens, Charles, made his first 
appearance amongst us at a Polytech- 
nic Conversazione held Februar}'^ 28, 
1844, liis last visit being to distribute 
prizes to students of the Midland 
Institute, January 6, 1870. In De- 
cember, 1854, he gave the proceeds of 
three "Readings," amounting to £227, 
to the funds of thelnstitnte, in which 
he always took great interest. — See also 
"Theatrical Notes," <kc. 

Digbeth, or Dyke Path, or Ducks' 
Bath, another puzzle to the anti- 
quarians. It was evidently a watery 
place, and the pathway lay low, as 
may be seen at "Ye Olde Leather 
Bottel." 



8H0 well's dictionary OF BIRMINGHAM. 



53 



Dininff Halls— Our grandfathers 
were content lo lake their bread and 
cheese by the cosy fireside of a public- 
house kitchen ; this was followed b}- 
sundry publicans reserving a better 
room, in which a joint was served up 
for their "topping customers." One 
who got into trouble and lost his li- 
cense, conceived the i lea of opposing 
his successor, and .starled dining-rooms, 
sending out lor beer as it was required, 
but not to his old shop. This innova- 
tion took, and when the railways l)egan 
bringing in their streams of strangers, 
these dining-rooms paid well (as seve- 
ral of the old ones do still). The next 
step was the opening of a large room 
in Slanej' Street (June 8, 1863), and 
another in Cambridge Street, with the 
imposing title of " Dining Halls," 
wherein all who were hungry could be 
fed at wholesale prices — provided 
they had the necessary cash. Our 
people, however, are not sufficiently 
gregarious to relish this kind of feed- 
ing in flocks, barrackroom fashion, and 
though the provisions were good and 
cheap, the herding together of all sorts 
spoilt the speculation, and Dining 
Halls closed when " Restaurants " 
opened, — See '* Luncheon Bars." 

Diocese. — Birmingham is in the 
diocese of Worcester, and in the 
Archdeaconry of Coventry. 

DiPeetOPies.— The oldest Birming- 
ham Directory known was printed in 
1770, but there had been one adver- 
tised a few years earlier, and every now 
and then after this date one or other 
of our few printers ventured to issue 
what they called a directar}', but the 
procuring a coraplefe list of all and 
every occupation carried on in Bir- 
mingham appears to have been a feat 
beyond their powers, even sixty years 
back. As far as they did go, however, 
the olddirectorics are notunintereatirlg, 
as they give us glimpses of trade mu- 
tations and changes compared with 
the present time that appear strange 
now even to our oldest inhabitants. 
Place for instance the directory of 



1824 by the side of White's directory 
for 1874 (one of the most valuable and 
carefully com])iled works of the kind 
yet issued). In t!ie former we find the 
names of 4,980 tradesmen, the dilfereut 
businesses under which they are 
allotted numbering only 141 ; in 1874 
the trades and professions named tot 
up to 745, under which appears no less 
than 33,462 names. In 1824. if we 
are to believe the directory, there were 
no factors here, no fancy repositories, 
no gardeners or florists, no pearl 
button makers, no furniture brokers 
or pawnbrokers (!), no new.sagents, 
and, strange to say, no printer. Photo- 
g-aphers and electro-platers were un- 
known, though fifty j'ears after 
showed 68 of the one, and 77 of the 
latter. On the other hand, in 1824, 
there were 78auger, awlblade and gim- 
let makers, against 19 in 1874 ; 14 
bellows makers, against 5 ; 36 buckle 
and 810 button makers, against 10 and 
265 ; 52 edge tool makers and 176 lock- 
smiths, against 18 of each in 1874 ; 
hiuge-inakers were reduced from 53 to 
23 ; gilt toy makers, from 265 to 15. 
(Considering the immense quantity of 
gilt trifles now sent out yearl\', we can 
only account for these figures by sup- 
posing the pro<lucers to have been 
entered under various other headings). 
Among the trades that have vanished 
altogether, are steelyard makers, of 
whom there were 19 in 1824 ; saw- 
makers, of whom there were 26 ; tool- 
makers, of whom there were 79, and 
similorers, whatever they might have 
been. Makers of the time-honoured 
snuffers numbered 46 in 1824, and 
there were even half-a-dozen manufac- 
turers left at work in 1874. The in- 
troduction of gas-lighting only found 
employ, in the first-named year, for 
three gasfitters ; in 1874, there were 
close upon 100. Pewterers and manu- 
facturers of articles in Britannia metal 
numbered 75 in 1824, against 19 in 
1874, wire-drawers in ths sa ne period 
coming down from 237 to 56. The 
Directories of the past ten years have 
degenerated into mere buiky tomes, 



54 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



cataloguing names certainly, but pub- 
lished almost solely for the benefit (?) 
of those tradesmen who can be coaxed 
into advertising iu their pages. To such 
an extent has this been carried, that it 
is well for all advertisers to be careful 
when giving their orders, that they are 
dealingwith an established and respect- 
able firm, more than one bogus Direc- 
tory having come under the notice of 
the writer during the past year or two. 
The issue of a real Post Office Directory 
for 1882, for which the name.-i, trades, 
and addresses were to be gathered by 
the letter-carriers, and no body of men 
could be more suitable for the work, or 
be better trusted, was hailed b}'' local 
tradesmen as a decided step in advance 
(though little fault could be found with 
the editions periodically issued by 
Kelly), but unfortunately the proposed 
plan was not succ issfully carried out, 
and in future years the volume will be 
principally valued as a curiosity, the 
wonderfully stiange mistakes being 
made therein of placing the honoured 
name of Sir Josiah Mason under the 
head of ' ' Next-of-Kin Enquiry Agents ," 
and that, too, just previous to the ex- 
posure of the numerous frauds carried 
out by one of the so-called agents and 
its curiousness is considerably enhanced 
by the fact that a like eiror had been 
perpetrated iu areceut edition of Kelly's 
Directory. 

Disehapged Ppisoners' Aid So- 
ciety in 1SS2 gave assistance to 642 
persons, at an average cost of 9s. 9^d. 
each— £315 19s. 4d. £161 16s. 5d. of 

Miles. 

Aberdare Ill 

Aberdeen 437-2 

Abergavenny 79 

Abergele 109 

Aberystwith 123^ 

Acock's Green 4| 

Albrighton 20 

Alcester 24 

Aldershot IIU 

Alnwick , 52^ 

AlreM'as 26 

Alton Towers 52^ 

Alvechurch 13h 



Miles. 

Arbroath 310 

Ashbourne 56^ 

Ashby-de-la-Zouch 41^ 
Afthton-under- 

Lyne 84 J 

Aylesbury 84 

Bala 94 

Banbury 42 

Bangor 135 

Barmouth 116 

Barnsley 95| 

Barnstaple 181 

Barnt Green 12 



this amount came from the convicts' 
gratuities, while the cost of aiding and 
helping them took £192 2s. 

Dispensary.— Established in 1794; 
the first stone of the building in Union 
Street was laid December 23, 1806, 
and it was opened for the reception of 
patients early in 1808, the cost being 
about £3,000. Ic has been one ©f the 
most valuable institutions of the town 
thousands receiving medical assistance 
every year, and is supported by volun- 
tary subscriptions. A branch Dispen- 
sary was opened in Monument 
Road, Feb. 27, 1884. Provident Dis- 
pensaries, to wiiich members pay a 
small monthly sum for medicine and 
attendance were organised in 1878, the 
first branch being opened at Hockley 
iu October of that 5^ar. In the first 
fifteen months 3,765 individuals paid 
subscriptions, and about £577 was paid 
for drugs and doctors fees. There are 
also branches at Camp Hill and Small 
Heath. 

Dissenters. — In 1836 there were 
45 places of worship belonging to 
various denominations of Dissenters 
here ; there are now about 145. — See 
" Places of IVorsldp." 

Distances from Birmingham to 
neighbouring places, county towns, 
trade centres, watering places, &c. Be- 
ing taken from the shortest railway 
routes, this list may be used as a guide 
to the third-class fares — Reckoned at 
Id. per mile : — 

Miles. 

Barrow-in-Furness 160 

Basingstoke 108^ 

Bath 98i 

Battersea 115i 

Bedford 82^ 

Beeston Castle 64-^ 

Belper 50 

Berkswell 13 

Berwick 281 

Bescot Junction ... 7h 

Bettws-y-Coed 134"' 

Bewdley 22J 

Bilbton 9| 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



55 



Miles. 

r.irkenhead 90 

Blacjlvburn 113 

Blackpool 124 

Bletchley 65i 

Blisworth 49^ 

Bloxwich 10^ 

Bolton 95| 

Borth. r 113 

Bourneinoutli 173 

Bradford 120^ 

Brecon 95 

Bredon 40^ 

l)rettle Lane 12 

Bridgnorth 20 

Bridgewater 127 

Brierley Hill 11^ 

Brighton 16(5 

Bristol 94 

Bronisgrove . . 16 

Bromyard 41 

BnckincrhMm 70^ 

BuilthRoad 88" 

Burslem 49 

Burton-on-Treiit... 32 
Bury St. Edmunds 133 
Bushbury Jim'tion 13 

Buxton 79 

Cambridge 111-^ 

Cannock 15^ 

Canterbury 175i 

Cardiff....." 109^ 

Carlisle 196 

Carmarthen 1874 

Carnarvon 143§ 

Castle Bromwich... f)j 

Castle Douglas 248^ 

Chapel -en-le-Frith 89 

Cheadle 77 

Cheddar 115i 

Chelsea 110 

Cheltenham ■ 49i 

Chepstow 84" 

Chester 75 

Chesterfield 6.'.-^ 

Chippenham 117 

Chi jiping Norton... 60 

Chirk 62i 

Cimrch Stretton... 54 

Cinderford 83^ 

Cirencester 84i 

Clapham Junction 113 
Clay Cross 62 



Miles. 
Cleobury Mortimer 29 

Clifton Bridge 97 

Coilbrookdale 30 

Codsall 16i 

Coleford 80" 

Coleshill 11^ 

Colwich 25| 

Colwyu Bay 115 

Congleton 58 

ConWay 120| 

Coventry 18| 

Cradley 9 

Craven Arms 61 ^ 

Crewe Junction ... 54 

Croylon ... 123 

Crystal Palace 120 

Darlaston 9^ 

Darlington 175^ 

Deepfields 9| 

Denbigh 97 

Derby 42^ 

Devizes 143| 

Didcot 76" 

Dolgelly ;.. 106 

Doncaster 96^ 

Dorchester 184 

Dorking 133 

Droit wich 23 

Dublin 232 

Dudley 8 

Dumfries 229 

Dundee 347 

Dunstable 79 

Durham 198 

Edinburgh 297^ 

Elgin 450 

Ely 127 

Erdington 4^ 

Etrnria 47 

Evercreech Junct'n 121 

Evesham 34 

Exeter 170 

Falmouth 286J 

Farrington 87 

Fearnail Heath ... 25 
Fenny Compton ... 34| 
Fenny Stratford ... 67 

Festiniog 145 

Filey 178 

Fleetwood 126 

Flint 87i 

Folkestone 202 



Miles. 

Forfar 304 

Forge Mills y 

Four Ashes 19 

Frome 138 

Furness Abbey ... 158^ 

Garstang 115 

Glasgow 286 

Glastonbury 140 

Gloucester 56^ 

Gosport 150 

Gravelly Hill 3 

Great Barr 4^ 

Great Biidge 7 

Grimsby 136i 

Guildford 120 

Hagley 13^ 

Halesowen 9 

Halifax 122^ 

Haiiley 47^ 

Harborne 4 

Harlech 126 

Harrowgate. 133 

Harrow 101 

Hartlebury 22 

Hartlepool 186 

Hastings .. 192^ 

Hatton 17i 

Haverfordwest 218i 

H-ath Town 12 

Hednesford ±7h 

Henley-on-Thames 103' 

Hereford 57 

Hertford 108 

Highani Ferrers ... 69^ 
High Wycombe ... 95 

Hitchin 92 

Holyhead 159^ 

Holywell 91^ 

Huddersfield 105i 

Hull 134 

Hfracombe 195 

Inverness 490 

Ipswich 167 

Ironbridge 30 

James Bridge 9 

Jedburgh 263 

Keighley 116i- 

Kcndal 148 

Kenil worth 21 

Kidderminster .. 18^ 

Kilmarnock 278^ 

Kings Heath 5 



56 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM, 



Miles. 

Kings Norton 6 

Kingstown 226 

Kingswood 13 

Knowle 10^ 

Lancaster 1272 

Langley Green f;^ 

Leamington 21 

Ledbiuy 43 

Leeds 115 

Leicester 39^ 

Leominster 80 

Lichfield 18 

Lincoln 91| 

Liverpool 97^ 

Llanberis 143 

Llandudno 123 

Llanelly 167^ 

Llangollen 72^ 

Llanrwst 131 

Llanymynech 69 

London 113 

Longton 48 

Loughborough 50 

Lowestoft 201 

Ludlow 69J 

Lydney 79 

Lye Waste IDA 

Lynn 135" 

Macclesfield 66 

Machynllyth 101 

Maidenhead... 105 J 

Maidstone 175| 

Malvern (Great) ... 36^ 

Manchester 85 

Margate 187 

Market Bosvvortli 27^ 
Market Drayton ... 48 
Market Harboro' 46 

Marlborough 133^ 

Marston Green 6^ 

Maryport 224 

Matlock Bath 59 

Meuai Bridge 136 

Merthyr IIU 

Middlesbro' 176^ 

Milford Haven 228 

Milverton 21 

Mold 87 

Monmouth 96^ 

Montrose 40l"" 

Moreton-in-Marsh 46 
Moseley 3| 



Miles. 

MnchWenlock 33 

Nantwich 56 

Neath 105i 

Netherton 8 

Newark 71^ 

Newcastle-on-Tyne 215 
Nwcstle-udr-Lyme 47^ 

Newmarket 126 

Newport (Salop)... 39 

Newport (Mon.)... 101 

Newton Road 5 

Newton Stewart ... 278 

Northallerton 160 

Northampton 49 

Northfield 8| 

North Shields 21 6^ 

Norwich 181 

Nottingham 58 

Nuneaton 20 

Oakengates 28^ 

Oldburv 5* 

Oldham 85 

Olton 5 

Oswestry 62| 

Oxford 66 

Paisley 286 

Pelsali 11 

Pembroke Dock ... 175 

Penkridge 22| 

Peiimaenmawr 125 

Penrith 178 

Penzance 302 

Perry Barr 4 

Penshore 43 1 

Perth 344 

Peterborough 96i 

Plymouth 222| 

Pontypool 90 

Port Diiiorwic 139 

Portishead 105^ 

Portmadoc 134 

Portsmouth 162| 

Prestatyn 101 

Princes' End 94 

Prollheli 138 

Queen's Ferry 82 

Ramsgate 192^ 

Reading 93 

Redcar .. 189 

Redditch 17 

Reigate 138| 

Rhyl 105 



Miles. 
Riekmansworth ... 98 

Rochdale 104^ 

Ross 70 

Rotherham 88 

Jiound Oik 104 

Rowsley 63| 

Ruabon „ 67i 

Kugby .• 30| 

Rugeley 21^ 

Runcorn 75 

Ruthin 116 

Ryde 160 

St. Alban's 101 

St. A«aph Ill 

St. Helens 85^ 

St. Leonard's 190-^ 

Sal ford Priors 28 

Silisbury 1574 

Saltburn 191" 

Sandbach ,... 58| 

Scarboro' 173 

Stlly Oak 2^ 

Sliarpness 75 

Sheffield 79 

Shepton Maliett ... 152 

Shifnal 25 

Shrewsbyry 42 

Sliustoke 12 

Sniethwick 3^ 

Solihull 64 

Southampton 139 

Southport 1074 

South Shields 209" 

Spon Lane 44 

Stdlbrd 29" 

Stamford 72 

Stechford 3i 

Stirchley Street ... 3| 

Stirling 336 

Stockport 79 

Stoke 45^- 

Stokes Bay 150 

Stourbridge 134 

Stourport 22 

Stranraer 301 

Stratfoid-on-Avon 26 

Stroud 70 

Sunderhnd 208 

Sutton Coldfield ... 7 

Swansea 156^ 

Swan VilLige 5^ 

Swindon 100 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF 13IUMINGHAM. 



57 



Miles. 

Tarn worth 18 

Taunton 138^ 

Teignniouth 184 

Tenbury 38 

Tewkesbury 44^ 

Thirsk Ifd 

Thrapstone 7o| 

Tipton 8 

Torquay 195^ 

Towcester 54 

Trefuant 113 

Trentham 43 

Trowbridge 128 

Truro 275| 

Tunbridge Wells... 165 

Tunstall 47 

Tutbuvy 37 

Ulverstone 152 

Uppingham 61| 

Upton-on-Severn 49 

Uttoxeter 45^ 

Uxbridge 118 



Miles. 

WakelicM lOlh 

Walliiigford 84| 

Walsall S 

Warminster 120 

Warrington 78 

AVarwick 21^ 

Water Orton 7.^ 

Wediiesbury 8 

Wedncstiekl 12 

Woedon ,.. 42 

Welslipool 61 

Wellington 32 

Wells 123 

Wem 52 

West Bromwich ... 4 

Weston-supr-Mare 114 

Weymouth 191 

Whitacre Junction lOh 

Whitby 187"^ 

AVliitchurch 51 

Whitehaven 193 

Witrau 91 



Miles. 

Willenhall 11 

Willesdcn Junction 1G7 

Wilnecoie 16^ 

Wincanton 130 

Wiiicliester 127 

Windermere 156 

Windsor 113 

Winson Green 2^ 

Wirks worth 56 

Witton 3^ 

Wolnirn Sands ... 70 

Wokingham 100 

Wolverhampton ... 12 

Wolverton 60 

Worcester 27 J 

AVorthington 50 

Wrexham 72 

Wykle Green 6 

Yarmouth 201 

Yeovil 152 

York 130i 



Dog's. — A 5s. duty on dogs came 
into force April 5, 1867 ; raised to 
7s. 6d. in June, 1878 ; This was not 
the first tax of the kind, for a local 
note of the time says that in 1796 ' ' the 
fields and waters near the town were 
covered with the dead carcases of dogs 
destroyed hy their owners to avoid pay- 
ment of the tax." The amount ])aid per 
year at present for "dog licenses" in 
Birmingham is about £1,800. The 
using of dogs as beasts of burden (com- 
mon enough now abroad) was put a 
stop to in London at the end of Oct. 
1840, though it was not until 1854 that 
the prohibition became general. Prior 
to the passing of the Act in that year, 
dogs were utilised as draught a imals 
to a very great extent in this neigh- 
bourhood by the rag-and-bone gather- 
ers, pedlars, and little nierchants, as 
many as 180 of the poor brutes once 
being counted in five hours as passing a 
certain spot on the Westbromwich 
Road. Tliere liave teen one or two 
"homes" for stray dogs opened, but it 
is best in case of a loss of tliis kind to 
give early information at the nearest 
police station, ;.s the art of dog steal- 
ing has latterly been much cultivated 
in this town, and it should be coji- 



sidered a duty to one's neighbour to aid 
in putting a stop thereto. 

Dog' Shows. — The first local Dog 
Show was held in 1860, but it was not 
until the opening in Cnrzou Hall, 
December 4, 1865, that the Show took 
rank as one of the "yearly institutions" 
of the town. — See " Exhibitions." 

Domesday Books.— The so-called 

Domesday Bi'dc, toinpiled by order of 
William the Norman Conqueror, has 
always been considered a wonderful 
work, and it must have taken some 
years compiling. Some extracts touch- 
ing upon the holders of laud in this 
neighbourhood have already been 
given, and in a sen-e they are very 
interesting, showing as they do the 
then Ijarrenness of the land, and the 
paucity ot inhabitants. Though in 
Henry VIII. 's reign an inventory of all 
properties in the h;inds of Churchmen 
was taken, it did not include the 
owners of land in general, and it was 
not till Mr. John Bright in 1873 moved 
for the Returns, that a complete 
register of the kind was made. It 
would not be easy, even if space could 
be i;iven to it, t.) give the list of in- 
dividuals, companies, and corporation 



58 



SHOWELL's dictionary op BIRMINGHAM. 



who claim to be possessors of tlie land 
we live on in Birin'ngliam and neigh- 
bourhood ; but a summary including 
the owners in this and adjoining 
counties may be worth preserving. 
As will be seen by the annexed figures, 
Warwick and Stafford rank hii,'h in 
tlie list of counties having large num- 
bers of small owners (small as to extent 
of ground, though often very valuable 
from the erections thereon). There 
can be no doubt that the Freehold 
Land and Building Societies have had 
much to do with tnis, and as Birming- 
ham was for years the headquarters of 
these Societies, the fact of there being 
nearly 47,000 persons in the county 
(out of a total population of 634,189) 
who own small plots under one acre, 
speaks well for the steady perseverance 
of the Warwickshire lads. That we 
are not wrong in coming to this con- 
clusion is shown by the fact that leav- 
ing out the Metropolitan Counties, 
Warwick heads, in this respect, all the 
shires in the kingdom. 

Warwickshire. 

Extent Gross 

of estimated 
lands, rentil. 
Owners of Nuiiibr. Acres £ 

Less tlian 1 acre 46804 &8S3 1S0SS97 

1 acre and under 10 195(5 7727 93792 

10 acres „ ^0 13'2S 31485 114243 

50 ,, ,, 100 447 31904 7617S 

100 „ „ 500 t)67 137372 398625 

500 , ,, 1000 82 55542 134005 

1000 ,, ,, 2000 47 675S5 208718 

2000 „ „ 5000 34 100185 275701 

5000 „ ,, 10000 8 .53380 90848 

10000 „ ,, 20000 4 49953 74085 

No areas given 49 — 43205 

Total 51516 541021 3318303 

St.\ffordshire. 

Less than la ore 33672 4289 974133 

1 acre and under 10 4062 14164 252714 

10 acres ,, 50 1891 44351 224505 

50 ,, ,, 100 544 39015 124731 

100 ,, „ 500 557 111891 381083 

500 „ „ 1000 90 62131 177372 

1000 „ „ 2000 79 70637 278562 

2000 „ ,, 50 28 90907 219792 

5000 ,, „ 10000 13 8251)0 13666S 

10000 „ ,, 21000 7 96700 212526 

20000 „ ,, 50000 1 21433 41560 

No areas given 2456 — 606552 

No rentals returned .... 1 2 — 

Total 43371 6380S4 3630254 



Worcestershire. 



1 acre and r 


inder 10 


2790 


10136 


151922 


10 acres , 


50 


1305 


31391 


1.38517 


50 „ 


100 


457 


32605 


92257 


100 „ 


500 


589 


118187 


258049 


500 „ 


, 1000 


66 


46420 


122817 


1000 „ 


, 2000 


34 


46794 


89267 


2000 „ 


, 50:JO 


25 


78993 


131886 


5000 ,, 


, 10000 


5 


33353 


54611 


10000 „ 


, 20000 


3 


38343 


88703 


No areas given 




522 


— 


-112107 



Total 21S04 441061 1685735 

DuddestOll Hall, and tlie Holte 
Family.— The first record of this 
family we have is towards the close of 
the thirteenth century when we find 
mention of Sir Henry Holte, whose 
son, Hugh del Holte, died in 1322. 
In 1331 Simon del Holte, styled of 
Birmingham, jiurchased the manor of 
Nechells " in consideration of xl li of 
silver." In 1365 John atte Holte pur- 
chased for "forty marks" the manor 
of Duddeston, and two years later he 
became possessed by gift of the manor 
of Aston. For many generations the 
family residence was at Duddeston, 
though their burial place was at Aston, 
in wliich church are many of their 
monuments, the olde t being that of 
AVm. Holte, who died September 28, 
1514. ThattlieHoltes, though untitled, 
were men of mark, may be seen by the 
brass in the North Aisle of Aston 
Church to the memory of Thomas 
Holte, "Justice of North Wales, and 
Lord of this town of Aston," who died 
March 23, 1545. His goods and chat- 
tels at his death were valued at £270 
6s. 2d. — a very large sum in those 
days, and from the inventory we find 
that the Hall contained thirteen sleep- 
ing apartments, viz., " the chambur 
over the buttrie, the chappel chambur, 
the maydes' chambur, the great cham- 
bur, the inner chambur, to the great 
chambur, the yatehouse chambur, the 
inner chambur to the same, the geston 
chambur, the crosse chambur, the inner 
chambur tothe same, the dark's chambur 
the yoemen's chambur, and the hyne's 
chambur. " The other apartments were 
"the hawle, the piece, the storehouse, 



SH0WELL8 DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



59 



the galarye, the butterye, theketchyn, 
the laiderhowse, the dey-howse, the 
bakhowse, the bultinge howse, and the 
yelingliowse," — tlie " chappell " being 
also part of the Hall. The principal 
bedrooms were hung with splendid 
hangings, those of the great chamber 
being " of gave colors, blewe and 
vedde, " the other articles in accordance 
tlierewilli, the contents of tliis one room 
being valued at xiij li. xiv. s. iiijd. 
(£13 14s. 4d.) The household linen 
comprised " 22 daniaske and two dia- 
pur table clothes " worth 4s. ; ten 
dozen table napkins (40s.) ; a dozen 
" fyne towells," 20s. ; a dozen " course 
towells " 6s. 8d. ; thirty pair ''fyne 
shetes " £5 ; twenty-three pair " course 
shetes " £3 ; and twenty-.six "pillow 
beres" 20/-. The kitchen contained 
" pottS; chaforues, skymmers, skellets, 
cressets, gredires, frying pannys, ch- 
fying dishes,, a brazon niorter with a 
pestell, stone morters, strykinge knives, 
brocbes, racks, brandards, cobberds, 
pot-hangings, hocks, a rack of iron, 
bowles, and payles. " The live stoclc 
classed among the "moveable goods, 
consisted of 19 oxen, 28 kyne, 17 
young beste, 24 young calves, 12 gots, 
4 geldings, 2 mares, 2 naggs and a colte, 
229 shepe, 12 swyne, a crane, a turkey 
cok, and a heune with 3 chekyns " — 
the lot being valued at £86 Os. 8d. 
Sir Thomas's nurriage with a daughter 
of the Winnington's brought much 
property into the family, including 
lands, &c. , "within the townes, vil- 
lages, and fields of Aston, next 
Byrmynghaoi, and Wytton, Mellton 
Moft'lberye (in Leicestershire), Hanse- 
worthe (which lands did late belonge 
to the dissolved chambur of Aston), 
and also the Priory, or Free Chappell 
of Byrmyughaui, with the lands and 
tenements belonging thereto, within 
Byrmyngham aforesaid, and the lord- 
ship or manor of the same, within the 
lordship of Dudeston, together with 
the lauds and tenements, within the 
lordship of Nechells, Salteley, some- 
time belonging to the late dissolved 
Guild of Deryteune," as well as lands 



at " Horborne, Haleshowen, Noifielde 
and Sinitliewicke. " H^s sou Edward, 
who died in 1.592, was succeeded by 
Sir Thomas Holte (born iu 1571 ; died 
December, 1654), and the most 
prominent member of the family. 
Being one of the deputation to wel- 
come James I to England, in 1603, 
he received the honour of knighthood ; 
in 1612 lie purchased an "Ulster 
baronetcy," at a cost of £1,095 [this 
brought the "red hand" into his 
shield] ; and in 1599 he purchased the 
rectory of Aston for nearly £2,000. 
In April, 1618, he commenced the 
erection of Aston Hall, taking up his 
abode tliere in 1631, though it was 
not finished till April, 1635. In 1642 
he was honoured with the presence of 
Charles I., who stopped at the Hall 
Sunday and MondiV, October 16 
and 17. [At the battle of Edge Hill 
Edward Holt, the eldest son, was 
wounded — he died from fever on Aug. 
28, 1643, during the siege of Oxford, 
aged 43] The day after Christmas, 
1643, the oLl squire was besieged by 
about 1,200 Parliamentarians from 
Birminghana (with a few soldiers), 
but having procured forty musketeers 
from Dudley Castle, he held the Hall 
till the third day, when, i aving killed 
sixty of his assuilants and lost twelve 
of his own men, he surrendered. The 
Hall was plundered and he was im- 
prisoned, and what with fines, confisca- 
tions, and compounding, his lovalty 
appearstohavecosthiin nearly £20,000. 
Sir Thomas had 15 children, but out- 
lived them all save one. He was 
succeeded iu his title by his grandson, 
Sir Robert, who lived iu very straight- 
ened circumstances, occasioned by the 
family s losses during the Civil War, 
but by whose marriage with the 
daugliter of Lord Brereton the Cheshire 
property came to his children. He 
died Oct. 3, 1679, agi d 54, and was 
followed by Sir Cliarles, who had 
twelve children and lived tillJuce 15, 
1722, his son. Sir Clobery, dying iu a 
few years after (Oct. 24, 1729). Sir 
Lister Holte, the next barouet, had no 



60 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



issue, though twico married, and lie was 
succeeded (April 8,. 1770), by his bro- 
ther, Sir Charles, witli whom the title 
expired (March 12, 1782), the principal 
estates going with his daughter and 
only child, to the Bracebridge family, 
as well as a dowrv of £20,000. In 
1817, an Act of Parliament was ob- 
tained for the settlement and part dis- 
posal of the whole of the property of 
this time-honoured and wealthy fam- 
ily — the total acreage being 8,914a. 2r. 
23p , and the then aunual rental 
£16,557 Os. 9d.— the Aston estate 
alone extending from Prospect Row to 
beyond Erdington Hall, and from 
Nechells and Saltley to the Custard 
House and Hay Mill Brook. Several 
claims have been put forward by colla- 
teral branches, both to the title and 
estates, but the latter were finally dis- 
posed of in 1849, when counsel's opin- 
ion was given in favour of the settle- 
ments made by Sir Lister Holte, which 
enabled the property to be disposed of. 
The claimants to the title have not yet 
proved their title thereto, sundry 
registers and certificates of ancient 
baptisms and marriages being still 
wanting. 

Duddeston Wai'd Hall,— The 

name tells what it is for. The first 
stone was laid Dee. 15, 1877 ; it was 
opened June 1, 1876 ; will seat about 
300, and cost £3,500, which was fouuii 
by a limited Co. 

Dungeon.— This very appropri- 
ate name was given to the old 
gaol formerly existing in Peck 
Lane. A writer, in 1802, described 
it as a shocking place, the establish- 
ment cousi-ting of one day room, 
two underground dungeons (in wliich 
sometiir.es half-a-dozen persons had to 
sleep), and six or seven night-rooms 
some of them constructed out of the 
Gaoler's stables. The prisoners were 
allowed 4d. per day for bread and 
cheese, which they liad to buy from 
the keeper, who, having a beer license, 
allowed outsiders to drink with his 
lodgers. This, and the fact that there 
was" but one day room for males and 



females alike, leaves but little to be 
imagined as to its horrible, filthy con- 
dition. Those who could afford to pay 
2s. 6d, a week were allowed a bed in 
the gaoler's house, but had to put up 
with being chained by each wrist to the 
sides of the bedsteads dl night, and 
thus forced to lie on their backs. Tlie 
poor wretches pigged it in straw on 
tlie floors of the night rooms. See also 
^^ Gaols" and '"' 'risons." 

Dwarfs. — The first note we have of 
the visit here of one of these curiosities 
of mankind is that of Count Borulaw- 
ski, in 1783 : though but 39 inches 
high it is recorded that he had a sister 
who could stand under his arm. The 
next little one, Manetta Stocker, a 
native of Austria, came here in 1819, 
and remained with us, there being a 
tombstone in St. Philip's churchyard 
bearing this inscription : — 

In Memory of Manetta Stocker, 

Who quitted this life the fourth day of 

May, 1819, at the. age of thu'ty-nine 

years. 

The smallest woman in this kingdom, 

and one of the most accomplished. 

She was not more than thirty-three inches 

high. 

She was a native of Austria. 

General Tom Thumb (Charles 
Stratton) was exhibited at Dee's Royal 
Hotel, in Se()tember, 1844. when he 
was about ten years old, and several times 
after renewed the acquaintance. He 
was 31 inches high, and was married 
to Miss Warren, a lady of an extra 
inch. The couple had ofl'spring, but 
the early death of the chiUlput an end 
to Barnura s attempt to create a race of 
dwarfs. Tom Thumb died in June 
1883. General Mite who was exhibited 
here last year, was even smaller than 
Torn Thumb, being but 21 inches in 
height. Birmingham, however, need 
not send abroad for specimens of this 
kind, "Robin Goodfellow " chronicling 
the death on Nov. 27, 1878, of 
a poor unfortunate named Thomas 
Field, otherwise the "Man-baby," 
who, though twenty-four years 
of age, was but 30 inches high 
and weighed little over 201bs., and who 



SriOWKLLS DICTIONARY OF BIPMINGIIAM, 



61 



had never walked or talked. The 
curious in such matters may, on warm, 
sunnj- iiKirnints, ocoasioiially meet, in 
the noi^libourliood of Broms;,'rove 
Street, a very intellifrent little man 
not much if any bigKCi' than the cele- 
hrated Tom Thumb, liut who has never 
been made a show of. 

Dynamite Manufaetupe.— See 

"Notable Offences." 

Eap and Thpoat Inflpmary.— 

See " Hosinfals." 

Earthquakes are not of such fre- 
quent occurrence in this country as to 
require much notice. The tirst we find 
recorded (said to be the greatest known 
here) took place in November, 1318 ; 
others were felt in this country in May, 
1332 ; A]>ril, 1,580 ; November, 1775 ; 
November, 1779 ; November, 1852, and 
October, 1S63. 

Easy Row, or Easy Hill, as Bas- 
kerville deli^hte(i to call the spot he 
had chosen for a residence. "When Mr. 
Hanson was ]ilanning out the Town 
Hall, there were several large elm trees 
still standing in Easy Row, by the 
corner of Edmund Street, part of the 
trees which constituted Baskerville's 
Park, and in the top branches of which 
the rooks still built their nests. The 
entrance to Broad Street had been nar- 
row, and bounded by a lawn enclosed 
with posts and chains, reaching 'to the 
elm trees, but the increase of traffic had 
necessitated the removal (in 1838) of 
thegrassplots and the fencing, though 
the old trees were left until 1847, by 
which time they were little more than 
skeletons of trees, the smoky atmos- 
phere having long since stoppsd all 
growth. 

EeeentPies. — There are just a few 
now to be .ound, but in these days of 
heaven-sent artists and special-born 
politicians, it would be an invidious 
task to chronicle their doings, or 
dilate on their peculiar idiosyucracies, 
and we will only note a few of the 
queer characters of the past, leaving to 
the future historian the fun of laugh- 



ing at our men of to-day. In 1828 the 
man of mark was "Dandie Parker," a 
well-to-do seedsman, who, aping Beau 
Brummel in gait and attire, sought to 
be the leader ct fashion. lie was 
rivalled, a little while after, by one 
Meyers, to see whom was a sight worth 
crossing the town, so firm and spruce 
was he in his favourite dress of white 
hat and white trousers, dark green or 
blue coat with gilt l)Uttons, bulf waist- 
coat, and itiff broad white neckcloth 
or stock, a gold-headed cane always in 
hand. By way of contrast to 

these worthies, at about the 
same period (1828-30) was one 
"Muddlepate Ward," the head of a 
family who had located themselves in 
a gravel jiit at the Lozells, and who 
used to drive about the town with an 
old carriage drawn by jiairs of doiike}^ 
and ponies, the harness being composed 
of Olid pieces of old rope, and the whi]p 
a hedgestake with a bit of string, the. 
■whole turnout being as remarkable for 
dirt as the first-named '' dandies " were 
for cleanliness. — "Bill}' Button" was 
another well-known but most inoffen- 
sive character, wlio died here May 3, 
1838. His real name was liever pub- 
lished, but he belonged to a good 
family, and early in life he had lueen 
an officer iu the Navy (sunie of his 
biographers say "a commander"), but 
lost his senses when returning from a 
long voyage, on hearing of the sudden 
death of a young lady to whom he was 
to have been married, and he always 
answered to her name, Jessie. He 
went about singing, and the refrain of 
one of his favourite songs — 

"Oyster.s, sir ! Oysters, sir ! 

Oysters, sir, I cry ; 
Tliey are the tinest oysters, sir, 

That ever you could buy.'" 

was for years after "Billy Button's" 
death the nightly " cry " of more than 
one peripatetic shellfishmonger. The 
peculiarity that obtained for the poor 
fellow his soubriquet of "Billy Button" 
arose from the habit he had of sticking 
every button he could get on to his 
coat, which at his death, was covered 



62 



SH0WBLL8 DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



SO thickly (and many buttous were of 
rare patterns), that it is said to ha%'e 
weighed over 30',bs. — "Jemmy the 
Rockman," who died here in Septem- 
ber, 1866, in his 85th year, was another 
well-known figure in our streets- for 
many years. His real name was James 
Guidney, and in the course of asoldier's 
life, he had seen strange countries, and 
possibly the climates had not in every 
case agreed with him, for, according 
to his own account, he liad been fa- 
voured with a celestial vision, ami had 
received angelic orders no longer to 
shave, &c. He obtained his living 
during the latter portion of his exis- 
tence by retailing a medicinal sweet, 
which he averred was good for all sorts 
of coughs and colds.— Robert Sleath, 
in 1788, was collector at a turnpike gate 
near Woi'cester, and, 'tis said, made 
George III. and all his retinue pay toll. 
He died herein November, 1804, when 
the following appeared in print : — 

" On Wednesday last, old Robert Sleath 
Passed thro' the turnpike gate of Death, 
To him Death would no toll abate 
Who stopped the King at Wor'stergate." 

EclipS8S, more or less partial, are 
of periodical occurrence, though many 
are not observed in this country. 
Malmesbury wrote of one in 1410, 
when people were so frightened that 
they ran out of their houses. Jan. 12, 
1679, there was an eclipse so comiilete 
that none could read at i;oon(lay when 
it occurred. May 3, 1715, gave 
another instance, it being stated that 
the stars could be seen, and that the 
birds went to roost at mid-day. The 
last total eclipse of the sun observed 
by our local astronomers (if Birming- 
ham had such " plants ") occurred on 
May 22, 1724. An account of the next 
one will be found in the Daily Mail, of 
August 12, 1999. Oa August 17, 
1868, there was an eclipse of the sun 
(though not noticeable here) so perfect 
that its light was hidden for six 
minutes, almost the maximum possible 
interval, and it may be centuries be- 
fore it occurs again. 



Economy. — Our grandfathers, and 
their fathers, practised economy in 
every way possible, even to hiring out 
the able-bodied poor who had to earn 
the cost of their keep by spinning 
worsted, &c. , and they thought so 
much of the bright moonlight that 
they warehoused the oil lamps inten- 
ded for lighting the streets for a week 
at a time when the moon was at its 
full, and never left them bmuiing after 
eleven o'clock at other times. 

Edg"baston. — The name as written 
in the earliest known deeds, was at 
first Celbalilston, altered as time went 
on to Eggebaldston, Eggehaston, and 
Eiigbaston. How long the family 
held the manor before the Conquest is 
unknown ; but when Doniesilay Book 
was written (1086), the occupying 
tenant was one Drogo, who had two 
hides of land and half a mile of wood, 
worth 20s. ; 325 acres were set down as 
being cultivated, though there were 
only ten residents. Tlie Edgbastons 
helil it from the lords of Birmingham, 
and they, in turn, from the lords of 
Dudley. Further than the family 
records the place has no history, only 
100 years ago Calthorpe Road being 
nothing but a fieldpath, and Church 
Road, Vicarage Road, and Westbourne 
Road merely narrow lanes. After the 
opening up of these and other roads, 
building sites were eagerly sought by 
the more moneyed class of our local 
magnates, and the number of inhabit- 
ants now are sufficient to people a fair- 
sized town. In 1801 the population 
was under 1,000 ; in 1811, just over 
that number; in 18fl, it was 9,269 ; 
in 1861, 12,900 ; in 1871, 17,442, and 
on last census day, 29,951 ; showing 
an increase of more than 1,000 a year 
at the present time ; while what the 
rentals may amount to is only known 
inside "the estate office." Some 
writers say that tlie parish church 
dates from about the year 775. The 
earliest register book is that for 1635, 
which escaped the notice of Cromwell's 
soldiers, who nearly destroyed the 
church in 1648 ; and from an entry in 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIliMlNGHAM. 



63 



the register of St. Sepulchre's Cluirch, 
Northampton, for 1659, it would 
appear ttiat there were collections 
made towards repairing the damage 
done by those wortliies. This entry 
quaintly st.ites that " seven shillings 
and sixpence " was received towards 
the re{)airs of the church of Edge 
Barston, in the county of Warwick, 
adding also tliat there was "never a 
minister in the said parish." 

Edgfbaston Hall.— The last of the 
Edgbastons was a lady by whose 
marriage the Mid<ilemores came into 
possession, and for nearly three 
hundred years the old house echoed 
the footsreps of their descendants. In 
the troublous times of the Common- 
wealth, Edghaston House and Church 
were seized by Colonel John Fox, the 
latter bui)<ling being used as a stable 
for his horses, and the former 
garrisoned by the soldiers kept there to 
over-awe tlie gentry and loyal subjects 
of the country, to whom " Tinker 
Fox," as he was dubbed, was a con- 
tinual terror. This worthy carried on 
so roughly that even the " Committee 
of Safety" (never particularly noted 
for kindness or even honesty) were 
ashamed of him, and restored the 
place to its owner, Robert Middlemore, 
the last of the name. By the 
marriages of his two grand-daughters 
the estate was divided, but the portion 
including the manor of Edgbaston was 
afterwards purchased by Sir Richard 
Gough, Knight, who gave £25,000 for 
it. In the meantime the old house 
liad been destroyed by those peace- 
loving Brums, who, in December, 
1688, razed to the ground the 
newl3'-built Catholic Church and 
Convent in Masshouse Lane, their 
excuse being that they feared the hatred 
Papists would find refuge at Edgbas- 
ton. Sir Richard (who died February 
9, 1727) rebuilt the Manor House 
and the Church in 1717-18, and en- 
closed the Park. His son Henry was 
created a Baronet, and had for his 
second wife the only daughter of 
Reginald Calthorpe,Esq., of Elvetham, 



in Hampshire. Sir Henry Oough died 
June 8, 1774, and his widow on the 
13th of April, 1782, and on the latter 
event taking place, tlieirson, who suc- 
ceeded to tliH estates of botli his 
parents, took his inotlier's family name 
of Cdthorjie, and in 1793 was created 
a peer under the title of Baron Cal- 
thoipe, of Calthorpe, county Norfolk. 
Edghaston Hall has not been occupied 
by any of the owners since the decease 
of Lidy Gough, 1782. 

Edgbaston Pool covers an area of 
twenty-two acres, tiiree roods, and 
thirty-six poles. 

Edg-baston Street.— One of the 

most ancient streets in the Borough, 
having been the original road from the 
parish church and the Manor-house of 
the fiords de Bermingham to their 
neighbours at Edgbaston. It was the 
first paved street of the town, and the 
chosen residence of the principal and 
most wealthy burgesses, a fact 
proved by its being known in King 
John's reign as " Egebaston Strete,'" 
the wori.le " strete " in those days 
meaning n ])aved way in cities or towns. 
This is fufthei shown by the small 
plots into which the land was divided 
and the number of owners named from 
time to time in ancient deeds, the 
yearly rentals, even in Henry VIII's 
time being from 3s. to 5s. per year. 
At the back of the lower side of Eilg- 
baston Street, were several tanneries, 
there being a stream of water running 
from the moat round the Parsonage- 
house to the Manor-house moat, the 
watercourse being now known as Dean 
Street and Smitli field Passage. 

Eleetpie Light.— The light of the 
future. The first public exhibition of 
lighting by electricity, was introduced 
by Maccabe, a ventriloijuial entertainer 
of the public, at the entrance of Cur- 
zon Hall, September 30, 1878. On the 
28th of the following month, the 
noveltyappearedatthe Lower Grounds, 
on the occasion of a football match at 
night, the kick off and lighting-np 
taking place at seven o'clock. At the 



64 



SHO well's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



last Musical Festival, the Town Hall 
was lit up by Messrs. Whitfield, of 
Cambridge-street, and the novelty is 
no longer a rarity, a company having 
been formed to supply the houses, 
shops, and public buildings in the 
centre of the town. 

Electro Plate.— As early as 18.38, 
Messrs. Elkington were in the habit of 
coating ornanient.-: with gold and silver 
by dipping them in various solutions of 
those metals, and the first patent taken 
out for the electro process apjiears to 
he that of July 6, 1838, for covering 
copper and brass with zinc. Mr. John 
Wright, a surgeon, of this town, was 
the first to use the alkaline cyanides, 
and the process was included in Elkiiig- 
ton's patent of March 25, 1840_. The 
use of electricity from magnets instead 
of the voltaic battery was |iatented by 
J. S. AVolrich, in August, 1842. His 
father was probably the first person 
who deposited metals for any practical 
T)urpose by means of the galvanic 
battery. Mr. Elkington applied the 
electro-deposit process to gilding and 
silvcrplating in 1840.— See " Trades," 
.{•c, 

Electoral Returns.— See "Par- 
liamentary. " 

Emigration.— In August, 1794, 
Mr. Russell, of Moor Green, and a 
magistrate fur the counties of Warwick 
and'Worcester, with his two brothers 
and their families, Mr. Humphries, of 
Camp Hill Villa, with a number of his 
relatives, and over a hundred other 
Birmingham families emigrated to 
America. Previous to this date Me have 
no record of anything like an emigra- 
tion movement horn this town, though 
it is a matter of history how strenu- 
ously Matthew Boultonandothermanu- 
facturers exerted themselves to 2}rerent 
the emigratioTi of artisans and work- 
people, fearing that our colonies would 
be enriched at the expense of the 
mother country. How sadly the times 
were changed in 1840, may be imagined 
from the fact that when free passages 
to Australia were first being offered, no 



lass than 10,000 persons applied un- 
successfully from this town and neigh- 
bourhood alone. At the present time 
itis calculated that passages toAmerica, 
Canada, Australia, &c. , are being taken 
up here at an average of 3,000 a year. 

Erdington. — Another of theancient 
places (named in the Domesday Book as 
Hardingtone) surrounding Birmingham 
and which ranked as high in those 
days of old, though now but like one 
of our suburbs, four miles on the road 
to Sutton Coldfield. Erdington Hall, 
in the reign of Henry II., was the 
moated and fortified abode of the family 
of that name, and their intermarriages 
with the De Berminghams, &c., con- 
nected them with our local history in 
many wa3^s. Though the family, 
according to Diigdaleand others, had a 
chapel ot their own. the hamlet 
appertained to the parish of Aston, to 
tlie mother church of which one Heniy 
de Erdington added an isle, and the 
family arms long appeared in the 
heralilric tracery of its windows. 
Erdington Church (St. Barnabas) was 
built in 1823, as a cluipel of ease to 
Aston, and it was not until 1858 that 
the district was formed into a separate 
and distinct ecclesiastical parish, the 
vicar of Aston being the patron of the 
living. In addition to the chapel at 
Oscott, the Catholics have here one 
of the most handsome places of wor- 
ship in the district, erected in 1850 
at a cost of over £20,000, a Monas- 
tery, &c. , being connected there- 
with. Erdington, which has doubled 
its population within the last 
twenty years, has its Public Hall and 
Literary Institute, erected in 1864, 
Police Station, Post Office, and several 
chapels, in addition to the almshouses 
and orphanage, erected by Sir Josiah 
Mason, noticed in another part of this 
work. See also ^' Pojndat ion Tables," 
&c. 

Estate Agents.— For the purposes 
of general business, Kelly's Directory 
will be found the best reference. The 
office for the Calthorpe estate is at 65 



SnOWKUj/s UICTIONAIIY OK lilHMINGllAM. 



65 



Hagley Road ; tor the William Dtulloy 
Trust estates, at IinpeiiHl Chambeis B, 
Coliiioic R')\v ; for tl]e Great Westi^'ii 
Railway pr-'ptirtiis at 103, Great Charles 
Street ; tor tlie Heathfield Estate in 
Heathfii'M R.md, ILin(lsw.)rtli ; l;;r the 
Hortoii (Is;)ac) properties at 41,Golinore 
Row ; Sir Joseph Mason's estate at the 
Orphanage, Enliiigton. 

Exehangre. — Corner of Stephenson 
Place and New Street, haviiify a front- 
age of 61 feet to the latter, ami 180 feet 
to the forjner. The foundation 
stone was laid January 2, 1863, the 
architect beinj; Mr. Edward Hohnes, 
and the building was opened January 
2, 1865, the oric;inal cost beinc; a little 
under £20,000. It has since been 
enlar>,'ed (1876-78) to nearly twice the 
original size, under the direction of Mr. 
J. A. Chatwin. The property and 
speculation of a private i-'ompany, it 
was (Dece'uher 2, 1830) incorporated, 
under. the Joint Stock Conii)anies' Act, 
and returns a fiir dividend on the 
capital expended. In addition to the 
Exchange and Chamber of Commerce 
proper, with the usual secretarial and 
coniniittee rooms appertaining thereto, 
refreshment, billiard, and 'etiring 
rooms, &c , there is a large assembly- 
room, frequently aseil forbiUs, I'oncerts, 
and entertainments of a public c'larac- 
ter. The dimension? of the principal 
hall are 70 feet length, 40 feet width, 
with a height of 23 feet, the a-seml)ly- 
room above being same size, but loftier. 
The central tower is 110 feet high, the 
turret, in which there was placed a 
clock made by John lusluiw, to be 
moved by electro-magnetic power (but 
which is now only noted for its incor- 
rectness), rising some 45 feet above the 
cornice. Other portions of the building 
are let off in offices. 

Excise.— It is but rarely the Inland 
Revenue authorities give the public 
any information showing the amount 
of taxes gritliered in by the officials, 
and the return, tlierefore, for the year 
ending ilarcli 31, 1879, laid before 
the House of Commons, is worth pre- 



serving, so far as the, Birmingham 
collection goes. Tlie total sutn which 
passed through the local office 
amounted to £89,321, the various 
headings under wliich the payments 
were entered, being : — Boer dealers, 
£2,245 ; baer retaiieis, £7,161 ; spirit 
dealers. £1,617 ; spirit retailers, 
£S,90l'; wine dealers, £874 ; wine 
retailers, £2 392; brevver.s, £9,518; 
maltsters, £408 ; dealers in roasted 
malt, £17 ; mauufartuiers of tobacco, 
£147; dealers in tobacco, £1,462; 
rectifiers of spirits, £11 ; makers of 
methylated spirits, £10 : retailers of 
methylated spirits, £33 ; vinegar 
makers, £26 ; chemists and others 
using stills, £4 ; male servants. £1,094 ; 
dogs, £1,786; carriages, £4,6i3 ; 
armorial bearings, £374 ; guns, £116 ; 
to kill game, £1,523 ; to deal in game, 
£136 ; refreslmient houses, £366 ; 
makers and dealers in sweets, £18 ; 
retailers of sweets, £42 ; hawkers and 
pedlars, £68 ; api)rais_;rs and house 
agents, £132 ; aucti.jueers, £1,210 ; 
pawnbrokers, £1,953 ; dealers in 
jilate, £1,749; gold ami silver plate 
duty, £17,691; medicine vendor.s, 
£66 ; inhabited hous^i duty, £21,533. 

The E.'ccise (or Inland Revenue) 
Offices are in Waterloo Street, and are 
open daily from 10 to 4. 

ExeUFSions. — -Theannnal trip to the 
seaside, or the continent, or some other 
attraciive spot, which has come to 
be considered almost an essential 
necessary (or the due preservation of 
health and the sweetening of temper, 
was a thing altogether unknown to the 
old folks of our town, who, if by 
chance they could get as far as Lich- 
field, Worcester, or Coventry once in 
their lives, never ceased to talk about 
it as something wonderful. The 
''outing" of a lot of factory hands 
was an event to be chronicled in Aris's 
Gazette, whose scribes duly noted the 
horses and vehicles (not forgetting the 
master of the baud, without whom the 
" gipsy party " could not be completi), 
and the destination was seldom indeed 
further than the Lickey, or Marston 



66 



SHOWELl's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



Green, or at rarer intervals, Sntton 
Coldfield or Ha<;ley. Well-to-do trades- 
men and en)]i]oyt:is of labour were 
satisfied with a tew hours spent at some 
oi' the old-style Tea Gardens, or the 
Grown and Cushion, at Perry Barr, 
Aston Cross or Tavern, Kirby's, or the 
New Inn, at Handsworth, &c. The 
Saturday half-holiday movement, 
winch came soon after the introduc- 
tion of the railways, may be reckoned 
as starting the excursion era proper, 
and the first Saturday afternoon trip 
(in 1854) to the E li of Bradford's, at 
Castle Bromwich, was an eventful 
episode even in the life of George Daw- 
son, who accompanied the trippites. 
The railway trips of the late pHSt and 
]iresent seasons are beyond enumera- 
tion, and it needs not to be said that 
anyone with a little spare cash can now 
be" whisked where'er he wills, from 
John-o'-Groats to the Land's End, for 
a less sum than our fathers paid to see 
the Shrewsbury Show, or Lady 
Godlva's ride at Coventry. As it was 
'a new deitarttire," and for future 
reference, we will note that the first 
five-shilling Saturday-nigh t-to-Mou- 
day-morning trip to Llandudno came 
oti' on August 14, 1880. The railway 
companies do not fail to give ample 
notice of all long excuisions, and for 
those who prefer the pleasant ]>laces in 
our own district, theie is a njost inter- 
esting publication to be had ior 6d., 
entitlecl "The Birmingham Saturday 
Half-holiday Guide," wherein much 
valuable information is given respect- 
ing the nooks and corners of AVaiwick 
and "Worcester, and their hills and 
dales. 

Executions. — In 1729 a man was 
hung on Gibbett Hill, site of Oscott 
College, for murder and highway rob- 
bery. Catherine Evans was hung 
February 8, 1742, for the murder of 
her husband in this town. At the 
Summer Assizes in 1773, James Duck- 
worth, hopfactor and grocer, of this 
town, was sentenced to death for 
counterleiting and diminishing the 
gold coin. He was supjiosed to be one 



of the heaviest men in the cotinty. 
weighing over twentj'-four stoue. He 
diedstronglv protesting his innocence, 
On the 22ud Nov., 1780, Wilfrid 
Barwick, a butcher, was robbed and 
murdered near the four mile stoue on 
the Coleshill Road. The culprits were 
two soldiers, named John Hammond 
(an American bj' birth) and Thomas 
Pitmore (a native of Cheshire) but well 
known as "Jack and Tom,"' drummer 
and fifer in the recruiting service here. 
They were brought before the 
magistrates at the old Public Office in 
Dale End ; committed ; and in due 
course tried and sentenced at AVarwick 
to be hanged and gibbeted on Wash- 
wood Heath, near the scene of the 
murder. The sentence was carried 
out April 2, 1781, the bodies hang- 
ing on the gibbet in chains a short 
time, until they were surreptitiously 
removed by some hunianitariaii friends 
who did not approve of the exhibition. 
What became of the bodies was not 
known until the moining of Thursday, 
Jan. 20, 1842, when the navvies em- 
ployed on the Biimingham and Derby 
(now ilidlaud) railway came upon the 
two skeletons still environea in chains 
when they were removing a quantity 
of earth for tlie embankment. 
The skeletons were afterwards re- 
interred under an apple-iree in the 
garden of the Adderley Arms, Saltley, 
and the gibbet-irons were taken as 
rarities to the Aston Tavern, where, 
possibly, inquisitive relic-mongers may 
now see them. Four persons were 
hung for highway lobbery near Aston 
Park, April 2, 1790. Seven men 
were hung at Warwick, in 1800, for 
foigery, and one for sheep-stealing. 
The}' hung people at that time for 
crimes which are now punished by im- 
prisonment or sliDn periods of penal 
servitude, but there n'as little mercy 
combined with the justice then, and 
what small portion there happened to 
be was never doled out in cases where 
the heinous oll'enceof forgery had been 
proved. On Easter Monday (April 19), 
1802, there was another hanging match 



SHOWE[jLS dictionary ok BIRMINGHAM. 



67 



at Wasiiwood Heath, no less than eight 
unfortunate wretches suffering the 
penalty of the law for committing 
forgeries and other crimes in this 
neighbourhood. There would seem to 
have been some little excitement in re- 
spect to this wholesale slaugiiter, and 
perhaps fears of a rescue were enter- 
tained, for tliere were on guard 240 of 
the King's Dragoon Guards, then 
stationed at our Barracks, under the 
command ot Lieut. -Col. Toovej' Haw- 
ley, besides a detachment sent Irom 
Coventry as escort with the prisoners. 
The last public execution here under 
the old laws was that of Pliili[) Mat- 
sell, wlio was sentenced to be hanged 
for shooting a watchman named Twy- 
ford, on the night of July 22, 1806. 
An alibi was set up in defence, and 
though it was unsuccessful, circum- 
stances afterwards came to light tend- 
ing to prove that though llatsell was 
a desperado of the worst kind, who had 
long kept cleir of the punishments he 
had deserved, in this instance he 
suffered for another. There was a dis- 
reputable gang with one of wiiom,Kato 
Pedley, Matsell had formed an intimate 
connection, who had a grudge against 
Twyford on account of his interfering 
and preventing several robberies they 
had planned, and it is said that it was 
his ]iaramour, Kit Pedley, who really 
shot Twyford, having dressed herself in 
Matsell's clothes while he was in a state 
of drunkenness. However, he was con- 
victed and brought here (Aug 23), from 
Warwick, sitting on his coffin in an 
open cart, to be executed at the bottom 
of Great Charles Street. The scaffold 
was a rough platform about ten feet 
high, the gaIlo7/s rising from the centre 
thereof, Matsell having to stand upon 
some steps while the rope was adjusted 
round his neck. During this operation 
he managed to kick his shoes off among 
the crowd, having sworn that he would 
never die with his shoes on, as he had 
been many a time told would be his 
fate. The first execution at Winson 
Green Gaol was that of Henry Kimber- 



ley (March 17, 1885) for the murder ot 
MVs. Palmer. 

Exhibitions.— It has long been 
matter of wonder to intelligent 
foreigners that the " Toysho]) of the 
World" ("Workshop of the World" 
would be nearer the mark) has never 
organised a permanent exhibiiion of 
its myriad manufactures. Tliere is not 
a city, or town, and hardly a country 
in the universe that could better build, 
fit up, or furnish such a place than 
Ijirminghain ; and unless it is from the 
short-sighted policy of keeping samples 
and patterns from the view of rivals in 
trade — a fallacious idea in these days of 
commercial travellers and town agen- 
cies — it must be acknowledgeii our mer- 
cliants and manufacturers are not 
kee[>ing up with the times in this res- 
pect. Why should Birmingham be 
without its Crystal Palace of Indtistry 
when there is hardly an article used by 
man or woman (save food and dress 
materials) but wiiat is made in her 
worksliops ? We have the men, we 
have the iron, and we have the money, 
too ! And it is to be hoped that ere 
many years are over, some of our great 
guns will see their way to construct a 
local Exliibition that shall attract peo- 
ple from the very ends of the earth to 
this "Mecca" of ours. As it is, from the 
grand old days of Boultonand his won- 
derful Soho, down to to-day, there has 
been hardly a Prince or potentate, white, 
black, capper, or coffee coloured, who 
has visited England, but that have 
come to peep at our workshops, mayor 
after mayor having the " honour " to 
toady to them and trot tliena round 
the back streets and slums to where the 
men of the bench, the file, and the 
hammer have been diligently working 
generation after generation, for the 
fame and the name of our world-known 
town. As a mere money speculation 
such a show-room must pay, and the 
first cost, though it might "be heavy, 
would soon be recouped by the influx 
of visitors, the increase of orders, and 
the advancement of trade that would 
result. There luive been a few exhibi- 



68 



SHOWJJLl/S OICTIONAKY OK lUKMlNGHAM. 



tioDs lield here of one sort and another, 
but nothing on the plan suggested 
above. The first on our file is that 
held at tlie Shakespeare rooms early 
in 1839, wlien a few good pictures and 
sundry specimens of manufactures were 
shown. Tills was followed by the 
comprehensive Mechanics' Institute 
Exhibition opened in NeAvhall Street, 
December 19th, same year, which 
was a success in every way, the 
collection of mechanical models, 
macliinery, chemical and scientific pro- 
ductions, curiosities, &c. , bsing exten- 
sive and valuable ; it remained open 
thirteen weeks. In the following year 
this exhibition was revived (August 
11, 1840), but so far as the Institute, 
for whose benefit it was intended, was 
concerned, it had been better if never 
held, for it proved a loss, and only 
helped towards the collapise of the In- 
stitute, which closed in 1841. Railway 
carriages and tramcars propelled by 
electricity are the latest wonders of 
1883 ; but just three-and-forty years 
back, one of our townsmen, Mr. Henry 
Shaw, had invented an "electro- 
galvanic railway carriage and tender," 
which formed one of the attractions of 
this Exhibition. It weut very well 
until injured hy (it is supposed) some 
spiteful nincompoop who, not having 
the brain to invent anything himself, 
tried to prevent others doing so. The 
next Exiiibition, or. to be more strictly 
correct, " Exposition of Art and Manu- 
factures," was held in the old residence 
of the Lloyd's family, known as 
Bingley House, standing in its own 
grounds a little back from Broa<l Street, 
and on the site of the present l>ingley 
Hall. This was in 1849, and from 
the fact of its being visited (Nov. 12) 
by Prince Albert, who is generally cre- 
dited with being the originator of Inter- 
national Exhibitions, it is believed that 
here he obtained the first ideas which 
led to the great " World's Fair " of 



1851, ill Hyde Park. — Following the 
opening of Aston Hall hy Her Majesty 
in 18.58, !nany gentlemen of position 
placed tlieir treasures of art and art 
manufacture at the dispo.^al ot the 
Committee for a time, and the result 
was the collecting together of so rich a 
store tliat the London papers pro- 
nounced it to be after the "Great 
Exhibition " and the Manchester one, 
the most successful, both as regarded 
contents and attendance, of any Exhi- 
bition therebefore held out of the 
Metropolis. There were specimens i>f 
some of the greatest achievements in 
tiie arts of painting, sculpture, porce- 
lain and pottery, carving and enamel- 
ling ; ancient and modern nietalwork, 
rich old furniture, armour, &c , that 
had ever been gathered togetlier, and 
there can be little doubt that tlie 
advance which has since taken place in 
the scientific and artistic trade cii-cles 
of the town spring in great measure 
from this Exhibition. — On the 28th of 
August, 1865, an Industrial Exiiibition 
was o}icned at Bingley Hall, and so far 
as attendance went, it must take first 
rank, 160,645 visitors having pas.-ed 
the doors. 

A(jricullm'al Exhibitions. — The Bir- 
mingliam Agricultural Exhibition So- 
ciety, who own Ijiiigley Hall, is the 
same body as the old Cattle Show 
Society, the modern name being adopted 
in 1871. As stated elsewhere, the first 
Cattle Show was held in Kent Street, 
Dec. 10, 1849; tlie second in Binglej' 
Hall, which was erected almost solely 
for the purposes of this Society, and 
here they have acquired the name of 
being the best in tlie kingdom. To 
give the statistics of entries, sales, ad- 
missions, and receipts at all the Shows 
since 1849, would take more space than 
can be afforded, and though the totals 
would give an idea of the immense in- 
fluence such Exhibitions must have on 
the welfare and prosperity of the agri- 
cultural community, the figures them- 
selves would be but dry reading, and 
those for the past few years will 
suffice. 



SllOWfil.l/s UlcriO.VAIlY OF BimUNGUAM. 



69 



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111 addition to the Christmas Cattle 
Show, the Society commenced in 
March, 1869, a xeparate exhibition 
and sale of pure-bred shorthorns, 
more than 400 beasts of this class 
being sent every year. Indeed, the 
last sliow IS said to have been tlie 
liirgest ever held in any country. Tlie 
value of the medals, cups, and prizes 
awarded at tliese cattle shows averages 
nearly £2,400 per year, many of them 
being either subscribed for or given by 
local iiinis and geiitienien interested in 
the breeding or rearing of live stock. 
One of the principal of these prizes is 
the Elkiiigtoii Clialienge Cup, valued 
at 100 guineas, whicli, after being won 



by various e.xhilutors during the past 
ten years, was secured at the last show 
bj- Mr. John Price, who had fultilled 
the requirements of the donors by 
winning it three times. Messrs. 
p]ikiiigton & Co. have most liberally 
given another cup of tlie sinie value. 
In 1876, for the first time since its 
establishment in 1839, the Royal 
Agricultural Society held its exhibi- 
tion here, the ground allotted for its 
use being seventy acres at the rear of 
Aston Hall, twenty-five acres being 
part of the Park itself. That it was 
most successful may be gathered from 
the fact that over 265,000 persons 
visited the show, which lasted from 
July 19th to 24th. 

Poultry forms part of the Bingley 
Hall E.vhibition, and numerically the 
largest portion thereof, as per the table 
of entries, which is well worth pre- 
serviiiiT also for showing when new 
classes of birds have been first penned : 

1876 177 1'7S 179 I'SO I'Sl 1'82 
Brahma Pootras 407 2.58 300 37(5 362 4::i) 429 

Doi'kiiit;s 167 178 220 209 194 238 277 

Cocliiii 331 415 412 433 421 431 412 

Laiigshaus — — — 49 60 49 47 

Malay 03 38 49 47 48 3.> 43 

Oreve Ccem- 93 117 94 38 28 33 24 

Uoiuiaiis -- — • — 66 65 54 71 

La Fleche — — — — ■ — — 12 

Spani.sli 48 33 45 27 32 31 37 

Aiicialusians. . . . — — — 10 23 29 4.H 

Legliorns — - — 25 12 20 17 

Plymouth Rocks —— — — — 17 20 

MiiKiicas — — 7 8 6 3 

P.ilisli 78 70 9.S 91 S3 98 03 

Kultaiis — — — 6 7 8 6 

Silkies ______ n ~ 

Game 351 341 314 241 267 287 353 

A.seels — — — 27 28 20 11 

HamlmfL-lis 148 175 145 159 129 141 1,53 

OMuM- iirei-.ls .. 35 47 126 20 20 21 7 
Si'lliiii.;Class(.-s.. — — _ 00 90 03 102 

Baiitam.s 05 63 82 70 105 00 105 

Ducks 100 102 115 137 103 144 141 

Geese 21 21 31 22 31 21 23 

Turkeys 05 90 52 82 67 81 00 

Pigeons 670 629 715 702 815 903 838 

Total ■ — • 

2072 -2.109 2H73 2809 30(V2 3316 3S2J 

Fanciers give wonderfully strange 
j)rices sometimes. Cochin China fowls 
had but lately been introduced, and 
were therefore "the rage" in 1851-2. 
At the Poultry Show in the latter year 



70 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



a pair of these birds were sold for £30, 
and at a sale by auction afterwards 
two prize birds were knocked down at 
£40 each : it was said that the sellers 
crowed louder than the roosters. 

Fine Art. — The first exhibition of 
pictures took place in 1814, and the 
second in 1827. In addition to the 
Spring and Autumn Exhibitions at the 
New Street Rooms, there is now a 
yearl}' show of pictures by the mem- 
bers of the "Art Circle," a society 
established in 1877, for promoting 
friendship among young local artists ; 
their first opening was on N^v. 28, at 
19, Temple Row. On Nov. 17, 1879, 
Mr. Thrupp commenced a yearly exhi- 
bition of China paintings, to which 
the lady artists contributed 243 speci- 
mens of their skill in decorating porce- 
lain and china. 

Horses and hounds. — The first exhi- 
bition of these took place at the Lower 
Grounds, Aug. 12, 1879. There had 
been a Horse Show at Biiigley Hall for 
several years prior to 1876, but it had 
dropped out lor want of support. 

Birds. — An exhibition of canaries 
and other song birds, was held Aug, 
18, 1874. Another was hehl in 1882, at 
the time of the Cattle Show. 

Pigeons. — The first exhibition of 
pigeons in connection with the Birm- 
ingham Columbarian Society, took 
place in Dec, 1864. The annual Spring 
pigeon sliow at the Repository, opened 
March 20, 1878. There have also been 
several at St. James' Hall, the first 
dating Sept. 24, 1874. 

Dogs. — Like tlie Cattle Show, the 
original Birmingham Dog Show has 
extended its sphere, and is now known 
as the National Exhibition of S[)orting 
and other Dogs. The show takes 
place in Cuizon Hall, and the dates 
are always the same as for the agricul- 
tural show in Bingley Hall. There is 
yearly accommodation fori, 000 entries, 
and i: is seldom that a less number is 
exhibited, the prices being numerous, 
as well as valuable. At the meeting 



of the subscribers held July 19,1883, it 
was resolved to form a new repre- 
sentative body, to be called the 
National Dog Club, having for its 
object the improvement of dogs, dog 
shows, and dog trials, and the forma- 
tion of a national court of appeal on all 
matters in disjuite. It was also 
resolved to publish a revised and 
correct stud book, to include all exhibi- 
tions where 400 dogs and upwardswere 
shown, and to continue it annually, 
the Council having guaranteed £150, 
the estimated cost of the publication 
of the book. Tnis step was taken in 
consequence of the action of certain 
members of the Kennel Club, who 
passed what had been called " The 
Boycotting Rules," calling upon its 
members to abstain from either ex- 
hibiting or judging at shows which 
were not under Kennel Club rules, and 
excluding winning dogs at such shows 
from being entered in the Kennel Club 
Stud Book, many of the principal 
exhibitors being dissatisfied with such 
arbitrai-y proceedings, evidently in- 
tended to injure the Birmingham 
shows. At each show there are classes 
for bloodhounds, deerliounds, grey- 
hounds, otterhounds, beagles, fox 
terriers, pointers, English setters, 
black-and-tan setters, Lish settei's, 
retrievers, Lish spaniels, water spaniels 
(best Irish), Clumber spaniels, Sussex 
spaniels, spaniels (black), ditto 
(other than black), dachshunds, 
bassett hounds, foreign sporting dogs, 
mastiflfs, St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, 
sheep dogs, Dalmatians, bulldogs, 
bull-terriers, smooth-haired terriers, 
black-and-tan terriers (large), small 
ditto black-and-tan terriers with uncut 
ears, Skye-terriers, Dindie Dinmonts, 
Bedlington terriers, Irish terriers, Aire- 
dale or Waterside terriers, wire-haired 
terriers, Scotch terriers (hard haired), 
Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranians, pugs, 
Maltese, Italian greyhounds, Blenliiem 
spaniels. King Charles spaniels, 
smooth-haired toy spaniels, broken- 
haired ditto, large and small sized 
foreijjn dogs. 



SHOWKLL'S dictionary ok BIRMINGHAM. 



71 



o o (. 



1876. 1877. 1878. 1S79. ISSO. 1881. 1882. 
14981 17048 10500 14309 1C796 1684915901 



o o 



-£064 £740 £820 £5SC £728 £714 £618 



O :c ) 

£ o h £550 £367 £485 £554 £580 £474 £405 

In 1879, the exhibition of guns and 
sporting implements was introduced, 
an additional atti-iction which made no 
difference finanrially, or in the number 
of visitors. 

Siiortina. — Auexhibition of requisites 
and appliaiic'-s in connection with 
sports and [iistimes of all kinds was 
opened in B iig'ey H ill, Aug 28, 1882. 
In addition to guns and ammunition, 
bicycles and tricycie-, there were ex- 
hibited boats, carrini^'es, billiard tables, 
&c. 

Pairii Utensils. — Tlie first of these 
exhibitions, June, ISSO, attracted con- 
siderable attention lor its novelty. It 
is held yearly in Bingley Hill. 

Bees. — An exhildtion of bees, bee- 
hives, and other apiarv appliances took 
place at the Botanical Gardens, in Aug. , 
1879. 

Food and Drinks. — A week's exhibi- 
tion of fooii, wines, spirits, temperance 
beverages, brewing utensils, machinery, 
fittings, stoves and appliances, was 
held in Bingley Hall, December 12-20, 
1881. 

Building. — A trades exhibition of all 
kinds of building material, machinery, 
&c., wss lield in 1882. 

Bicycles, d-c. — -The Speedwell Club 
began their annual exhibition of 
bicycles, tricycles, and their accessories 
iu February," 1882, when about 300 
machines were shown. In the follow- 
ing year the number was nearlv 400 ; 
in 1884. more than 500 ; in 1885, 600. 

Boots. — Messrs. Webb, of Wordsley, 
occupied Curzon Hall, Noveniber 20, 
1878, with an exhibition of prize roots, 
grown by their customers. 

Fruit, Flowers, <kc. — The first 
flower show we have note of was 



on June 19, 1833. The first chrysan- 
themum show was in 1860. The first 
Birmingham rose show in 1874 (at 
Aston) ; the secontl, five years later, iit 
Bingley Hall. The Harborne goose- 
berry-growers have sh')wu up every 
year since 1815, and the cultivators of 
2}oinmes de tcrre in the same neiglibjur- 
hood fiist laid their tables iu public iu 
Sept., 1879. 

Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862. 

— Even as liirniingham may be said tu 
have given the first idea for the ''Great 
Exhibition " of 1851, so it had most t-j 
do with the buiLling thereof, tlie great 
palace in Hyde Park being commenced 
by Messrs. Fox, Henderson & Co. , July 
26, 1850, and it was finished in nine 
months at a total cost of £176,031. In 
its erection there wore used 4 000 tons 
of iron, 6,000,000 cubic feet of wood- 
work, and 31 acres of sheet glass, re- 
quiring the work of 1,800 men to put 
it together. 237 local exiiibitors ap- 
plied for space amounting to 22,070 
sup feet, namely, 10,183 feet of floor- 
ing, 4,932 feet of table area, and 6,255 
feet of wall space. The " glorv " of 
tliis exhibition was the great crystal 
fountain in the centre, manufactured 
by Messrs. Osier, of Broad Street, a 
work of art till then never surpassed in 
the world's history of glass-making and 
glass cutting, and which now pours 
forth its waters in one of the lily tanks 
in Sydenham Palace. j\lany rare speci- 
mens of Birmingham manufacture be- 
sides were there, and the metropolis of 
the Midlands had cause to bo 
proud of the works of her sons 
thus exhibited. Fewer manufacturers 
sent their samples to the exhibition of 
1862, but there was no filling off in 
their beauty or design. The Birming- 
ham Small Arms trophy was a great 
attraction. 

Explosions. — That many dejilor- 
able accidents should occur during the 
course of manufacturing such danger- 
ous articles as gun caps and cartridges 
cannot be matter of surprise, and, per- 
haps, on the whole, those named in 
the following list may be considered as 



SHOWELI/S UIOTIONARY OF BIKMINGIIAM. 



not more than the average miiiiber to 
1)6 expected : — Two lives were lost by 
explosion of fulminating; powder in St. 
Mary's Square, Aug. 4, 1823.— Oct. 16, 
sanic! year, there was a. gunpowder ex- 
plosion ill Lionel Street. — Two were 
killed by fireworks at the Rocket 
Tavern, Little Charles Street, May 2, 
1834. — An explosion at Saltley Car- 
riage Works, Dec. 20, 1849.— Two in- 
jured at the Proof House, Sept. 23, 
1850. — Five by detonating powder in 
Cheapside, Feb 14, 1852.— Tliirty-one 
were iniured by gas explosion at Work- 
house, Get. 30, 1855. — Several from 
same cause at corner of Hope Street, 
March IJ, 1856. — A cap explosion took 
]ilace at Ijudlovv's, Legge Street, July 
28, 1859. — Another at Phillips and 
Pursall's, Whittall Street, Sept. 27, 
1852, wlien twenty-one persons lost 
their lives. — Another in Graham Street 
June 21, 1862, with eigiit deaths.— 
Uoiler burst at Spring Hill, Nov. 23, 
1859, injuring seven. — An explosion 
in the Magazine at the Barracks, March 
8, 1864, killed Quartermaster McBean. 
— At Kynoch's, Witton, Nov. 17, 
1870, resulting in 8 deaths and 28 in- 
jured. — At Ludlow's aninuinition I'ac- 
tory, Dec. 9, 1870, when 17 were killed 
and 53 injured, of whom 34 more died 
before Christmas. — At Witton, July 1, 
1872, when Wcstley Kicliards' manager 
was killed. — At Hobb Lane, May 11, 
1874. — Gf gas, ill great Lister Street, 
Dec. 9, 1874.— Gf fulminate, in the 
Green Lane, May 4, 1876, a youth be- 
ing killed. — Gf gas, at St. James's 
Hall, Snow Hill, Dec. 4, and at Avery's, 
Moat Row, Dec. 31, 1878.— At a match 
manufactoiy, Phillip Street, Get. 28, 
1879, when Sir. Bermingham and a 
workman were injured. 

Eye HospitaL — See "Hospitals." 

Fairs. — The officers of the Court 
Leet, whose duty it was to walk in 
proces.^iou and " proclaim " the fairs, 
went through tlieir last performance of 
the kind at Michaelmas, 1851. It was 
proposed to abolish the fairs in 1860, 
but the final order was not given until 



June 8th, 1875. Gf late years there 
have been fairs held on the open 
grounds on the Aston outskirts of the 
borough, but the "fun of the fair' 
is altogether dill'erent now to what it 
used to bd. The original charters for 
the holding of fairs at Whitsuntide 
and Michaelmas were granted to 
William de lleniiinghi'.m by Htnry 
in. in 1251. These fairs were doubt- 
less at one time of great imjiortance, 
but the introduction of railways did 
away with seven-tenths of their utility 
and the remainder was more nuisance 
than profit. As a note of the trade 
done at one time we may just preserve 
the item tliat iii 1782 there were 56 
waggon loads of onions brouglit into 
the fair. 

Family Fortunes.— Hutton in his 

" History," with that ipiauit prolixity 
which was his peculiar prociivily gives 
numerous instances of the rise and fall 
of lamiliesconuected with Birmingham. 
Li addition to the origiual family of 
De Birmingham, now utterly extinct 
he trai'ed back many others then and 
now well-known names. For instance 
he tells us that a predecessor of the 
Oolmores in Henry A''IIL's reign kejit 
a nrercer'sshop at No. 1, High Street; 
that the founder of the P>owyer Adder- 
ley family began life in a small way 
in this his native town in the 14th cen- 
tury ; that the Foxalls sprang from a 
Digbeth tanner some 480 years ago ; 
and so of others. Plad he lived till 
now he might have largely increased 
his roll of local millionaires with such 
names as Gillott, Muntz, Mason, Ry- 
lands, &c. Gn the other liand he 
relates how some of the old families, 
whose names were as household words 
among the ancient aristocracVj have 
come to nought ; how that he had 
himself charitably relieved the descen- 
dants of the Norman Mountlourds, 
Middemores and l>racebridges, and 
how that the sole boast of a descen- 
dant of the Saxon Earls of Warwick was 
in his day the fact of his grandfather 
having " kept several cows and sold 



SIIOWICI.l'^ dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



73 



iiiiik. " It is but a few years bade since 
the present writer saw the last direct 
<iesce^dant of the Holtes workiii-,' as a 
compositor in one of the newspaper 
offices of this town, and ainiost any 
(lay there was to be seen in the streets 
a truck with the uanit; painted on of 
" Charles IloUe Bracebridge,, Licensed 
Hawker ! " 

Famines. — In the year 310, it i^ 
said that, 40,000 persons died in this 
country fioni famine. It is not known 
whethtir any " I'.ruins " existed tlien. 
In 1195 wheat was so scarce that it 
sold for 20s. the quarter; ten years 
a.iter, it was only 12d. In 1438, the 
times were so hard that people eat 
bread made from fern roots. In ir)65, 
a famine prevailed tliroughout the 
kingdom. 

Fashionable Quaptep. — Edg- 

bision is otir "Wtsv liliid," of which 
Thomas Kagg (beiore he was ordained) 
thus wrote : — 

Glorious suburbs Iloug 

May ye remain to bless the ancient town 
Whose crown ye are ; rewarder of the 

caies 
Of those who toil amid the din and smoke 
Of iron ribbed and liardy Birmingham. 
And may ye long be suburbs, keeping still 
Business at distance from your green re- 
treats. 

Feasts, Feeds, and Tea-figrhts. 

— Like otiier Engli-hmen, when we 
liave a good opinion of peo])le we ask 
tiiem to (iiiiner, and the number of pub- 
lic breakfasls, dinneis, teas, and suppers 
ou our record is wonderful. We give a 
few of the most interesting :— 3,800 
jiersons dined with our first M.P.'s., 
Attwood and Scholetield, at lieards- 
worth's Repo.-itoiy, Sept. 15, 183i. 
--A Ref(;rni bau(pict was the attrac- 
tion in the Town Hall, Jan. 28, 1836. 
—Members and friends of the ' Chartist 
■Chnrch'kept their Christmas festival, by 
takingtea'inTown Hall, Dee.28, 1841. 
—1,700 Anti-Cornlawites (John Bright 
among them) did ditto Jan. 22, 1843. 
— The defeat of an obnoxious Police 
Bill lead 900 persons to banquet 



together April 9. 1845. — A banquet in 
honour of Charles Dickens opened the 
year 1853 — Ttie first anniversary of 
the Loyal and Constitutional Associa- 
tion was celebrated by t!ie dining of 
848 loyal subjects, Dec. 17, 1855.— 
A dinner was given to 1,200 poor folks 
in i'dnghiy Hall, Jan. 25, 1858, to 
make tliem remember the marriage of 
the Princess Royal. Tho-e who were 
not poor kept the game alive at Dee's 
Hotel. — John Blight was dined in 
Town Hall, Oct. 29, 1858. -A 
party of New Zealand chiefs were 
stuti'jil at same place, March 10, 1864 
— To celei)rate the op( ning of a Dining 
Hall in Cambridge Street, a public 
dinner was given on All Fools' Day, 
1864.— On tho 23rd Ai>ril following, 
about 150 gtjntiemen br.^akfasted widi 
the Mayor, in honour of the Shakis- 
peare Lil)rary b iug presented to the 
town. — The [lurchase of Aston Park 
was celebrated by a banquet, Sept. 22, 
1864. — Over a hundred beihiugers, at 
Nock's Hotel, 1868, had their clappers 
set wagging by Blews and Sons, m 
honour of tiie lirst jieal of bells cast by 
them, and now in Ijishop Ryder's 
Churcli.— The Muster Bakers, who 
have b;,'en baking dinners for the pub- 
lic so long, in Deiiember, 1874, com- 
menced an annual series of dinners 
among themselves, at which neither 
baked meats, nor even baked potatoes, 
are allowed. — Of political and quasi- 
political ban(|uets, there have been 
many of late years, but as the parties 
have, in most cases, simply been 
gathered for i)arty purposes, their re- 
memljianco is not worth keeping. — To 
help piy for improvements at General 
Hospital, there was a dinner at the 
Great Western tlotel, June 4, 1868, 
and when tlie plate was sent round, 
it received £4.000. That was the 
best, and there the list must close. 

Females. — The fairer portion of 
our local communitv number (census 
1881) 210,050, as "against 197,954 
males, a preponderance of 12,096. In 
1871 the ladies outnumbered us by 



74 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



8,515, and it would be an interesting 
question how this extra ratio arises, 
though as cue half of the super- 
abundant petticoats are to be tound in 
Edgbaston it may possibly onlj' be 
taken as a mark of local prosperity, 
and that more female servants are 
employed than formerly. — See "i'ojntZa- 
tion " Tables. 

Fenianism. — It was deemed neces- 
sar}^ in Jai]., 1881, to place guards of 
soldiers at the Tower and Small Arms 
Factory, but the Fenians did not 
trouble us ; though later on a very 
pretty manufactory of dynamite was 
discovered in Ledsam Street. — See 
^' J^otahlc Offences." 

FePrars. — Tlie De Ferrars were at 
one time Lords of the Manor, Edmund 
Je Ferrars dying in 1438. The ancient 
public-house sign of " The Three 
Horseshoes " was taken from their coat 
of arms. 

Festivals. — Notes of the past Tri- 
ennial ]\Iusical Festivals for which 
Birmingham is so famous, the per- 
formances, and the many great 
artistes who have taken part therein, 
will be found further on. 

Fetes were held in Aston Park 
July -27, and September 15, 1856, for 
the benefit of the Queen's and General 
Hospitals, realising therefor £2,330. 
The first to " Save Aston Hall " took 
place August 17, 1857, when a profit 
of £570 was made. There have been 
many since then, but more of the 
private speculation class, Sangers' 
so-called fete at Camp Hill. June 27, 
1874, being the tirst of their outdoor 
hippodrome perfonuancos. 

Fires. — When Prince Rupert's sol- 
diers set fire to the town, in 1643, no 
less than 155 houses were burned. — 
Early in 1751 about £500 worth of 
wool was burned at Alcock's, in Edg- 
baston Street.— i\Iay 24, 1759, the 
stage waggon to Worcester was set on 
fire by the bursting of a bottle of aqua- 
fortis, and the contents of the waggon, 
valued at £5,000, were destroyed. — 



In November, 1772, Mr. Crowne's hop 
and cheese warehouse, top of Carr's 
Lane, was lessened £400 in value. — 
The Theatre Roj'al was burned August 
24, 1791, ami again January 6, 1820.— 
Jerusalem Temple, Newhall Hill, was 
burned March 10, 1793.— St. Peter's 
Church suffered January 24, 1831. — 
There was a great blaze at Bolton's 
timber yard, Broad Street, ^lay 27, 
1841. — At the Manor House, Balsall 
Heath, in 1848. — Among Onion's bel- 
lows, in March, 1853. — At the General 
Hospital, December 24, 1853.— At the 
Spread Eagle Concert Hall, ^lay 5, 
1855. — At a builder's in Alcester Street, 
October 4, 1858.— At Aston Brook 
Flour mill, Jane 1, 1862, with £10,000 
damage. — At Lov\den& Beeton's, High 
Street, January 3, 1863 ; the firm were 
prosecuted as incendiaries. — At Gawie- 
son's Tavern, Hill Street, Deceiuber 25 , 
1863 ; si.x lives lost. — On the stage at 
Holder's, July 3, 1865 ; two ballet 
dancers died from fright and injuries. 
— At Baskerville Sawmills, September 
7, 1867.— In Sutton Park, August 4, 
1868. — In a menagerie in Carr's Lane, 
January 25, 1870. — At Dowler's Piume 
Works, March 16. — In Denmark 
Street, May 23 ; two children burned. — 
At Worcester Wharf, June 2, 1870 ; 
two men burnt. — At Warwick Castle, 
Dec. 3, 1871.— At Smith's hay and 
strawyard. Crescent, through liglitning, 
July 25, 1872. — In Sherbourne Street, 
June 25, 1874, and same day in Friston 
Street ; two men burned. — At the hat- 
ter's shop in Temple Street, Nov. 25, 
1875 — At Tipper's Mystery Works, 
May 16, and at Holford Mill, Perry 
Barr, August 3, 1876. — At Icke and 
Co.'s, Lawley Street, May 17, 1877 ; 
£2,500 damage. — At Adam's colour 
warehouse, Suffolk Street, October 13, 
1877; £10,000 damage.— In Blooms- 
bury Street, September 29, 1877 ; an 
old man burned. — In Lichfield Road, 
November 26, 1877 ; two horses, a cow, 
and 25 pigs roasted. — January 25, 1878, 
was a hot day, there being four fires in 
15 hours. — At Havne'.s flour mill, Ick- 
nield Port Road, "Feb. 2, 1878, with 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



£10,000 dama<;e ; first time steam fire 
engine was used. — At Baker Bros'., 
match manufactory, Freeth Street, 
February 11. — At Grew's and at Cund's 
printers, March 16, 1878 ; botli places 
being set on fire by a vengeful thief ; 
£2,000 joint damage. — At corner of 
Bow Street, July 29, 1878.— At Den- 
nison's shop, onposite Museum Concert 
Hall, August 26, 1878, when Mrs.;DeM- 
nison, her baby, her sister, and a ser- 
vant girl lost their lives. The inquest 
terminated on September 30 (or rather 
at one o'clock next morning), when a 
verdict of " acciiiental death" was 
given in the case of the infant, who 
had been dropped during an attempted 
rescue, and with respect to the others 
that they had died from suffocation 
caused by a fire designedly lighted, 
but by whom the jury had not suHi- 
cient evidence to say. Great fault was 
found with the management of the 
fire brigade, a conflict of authority 
between t'neni and the ))olice giving 
rise to very unpleasant feelings At 
Cadbury's cocoa manufactory, Novem- 
ber 23, 1878. In Legge Street, at a 
gun imjileiiient maker's, December 14, 
1878; £600 damage. — And same day 
at a gun maker's, Whittall Street ; 
£300 damage. — At Hawkes's looking- 
glass mauufactorv, Bronisgrove Street, 
January 8, 1879; £20,000 damage.— 
The Reference Library, January 11, 
1879 (a most rueful day) ; damage in- 
calculable and irreparable. — At Hiiiks 
and Sons' lamp works, January 30, 
1879 ; £15,000 damage.— At the Small 
Arms Factory, Adderley Road, Novem- 
ber 11, 1879: a fireman injured. — At 
Grimsell and Sons', Tower Street, 
May 5, 18^0 ; over £5,000 damage. — 
Ward's cabinet manufactory, Bissell 
Street, April 11, 1885. 

FiPeaPms.— See ''Trades.'" 

Fire Brigades.— A volunteer bri- 
gade, to help at fires, was organised 
here in February 183G, but as the seve- 
ral companie.s, after iiicrodu..ing their 
engines, found it best to pay a regular 
staff to work them, the volunteers, for 



the time, went to the "rightabout." 
In 1803 a more pretentious attempt to 
constitute a public or volunteer bri- 
gade of firemen, was made, tiie mem- 
bers assembling for duty on the 21st of 
February, the Not wicli Union engine 
house being the headquarters ; but the 
novelty wore olf as the uniforms got 
shabby, and the work was left to the 
old hands, until the Corjioration took 
the matter iu hand. 

A Volunteer Fire Brigade iov Aston 
was formed at the close of 1878, and 
its rules approved by the Local Board 
on Jan. 7, 1879. They attended and 
did good .service at tne burning of the 
Reference Library on the following 
Saturday. August 23, 1879 the Aston 
boys, with three and twenty other 
brigades from various parts of the 
country, lield a kind of efficiency 
comjietition at the Lower Ground.^, 
and being so;nething new ill it attracted 
many. Tlie Birniingliam brigade were 
kept at home, possibly on account 
of the anniversary of the Digbeth fire. 
Balsall Heath and Harborne are also 
supplied with their own brigades, and 
an Association of Midland Brigades 
has lately been formed which held 
their first drill in the Priory, April 28, 
1883. 

Fire Engines. -In 1839 the Birm- 
ingham Fire Olfice had two engiiies, 
very handsome specimens of the article 
too, being profusely decorated witii 
wooden battle axes, iron scroll- woik, 
&c. One of these engines was painted 
in many colours ; but the other a plain 
drab, the latter it was laughingly said, 
being kept for the Society of Friends, 
the former for society at large. 
The first time a "portable" or hand 
engine was used here was on the 
occurrence of a fire in a tobacconist's 
shop in Cheapside Oct. 29, 1850. The 
steam fire engine was brought here in 
Oct. 1877. — See ''Fi'e Eiuiine Stations" 
under "Public Buildings." 

FiPe Grates.- The first oven grate 
used in tins district wa^i introduced iu 
a house at "the City of Nineveh" 



SnOWELL's DICTIONAUY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



about the year 1818, and created quite 
a sensation. 

Fire Insurance Companies.— 

The Biiiningliam dates Us estabiish- 
ment fiom March 1805. All the com- 
panies now in existence are more or 
less represented here by ajjents, and 
no one need be uniDsuied lonj;, as their 
oflices are so thick on the ground round 
Bennet's Hill and Coimore Row, tliat 
it has been seiioush' suggested tlie 
latter thoroughfare should be re- 
cliristened and be called Insurance 
Street. It was an agent who had tiie 
assurance to propose the change. 

Fish. — In Ajiril, 1838, a local com- 
pany was floated for tiie jiurpose of 
bringing ii^li .rom London and Liver- 
pool. It began swimmingly, but fish 
didn't swim to Birmingiiam, and 
though several other aitempts have 
been made toforni companies of similar 
character, the tiade has been keiit al- 
together ill private, hands, and to judge 
from the syiarkling rings to be seen on 
the hands of the ladies who coi. descend 
to sell u.s our matutinal bloaters in the 
Market Hall, the business is a prettj' 
good one — and who dare say those 
dames de talle are not also pretty and 
good ? The supply of fish to this town, 
as given by tlie late Mr. Hanmau, 
averaged from 50 to 200 tons ]ier day 
(one day in Juue, 1879, 238 tons came 
from Grimsby alone) or, each in its 
])roper season, nearly as Ibllows : — 
Mackerel, 2,000 boxes of about 2 cwt 
eacli ; herrings, 2,000 bairels of 1^ cwt. 
each ; salmon, 400 boxes of 2^ cwt. 
eaeli ; lobsters, 15 to 20 barrels of 1 
cwt. each ; crabs, 50 to 60 birrels of 1^ 
cwt. each ; j)laice, 1,500 packages of 2 
cwt. each ; codfish, 200 'oarrels of 2 
cwt. each ; conger eels, 20 barrels of 2 
cwt. each ; skate, 10 to 20 barrels of 2 
cwt. each. — See " Markets." 

Fishing".-- There is very little .scope 
for the juactice of Isaac Walton's craft 
near to Birmingham, and loveis of the 
gentle art must go farther afield to 
meet with good sport. The only spots 
within walking distance are tiie pools 



at Aston Park and Lower Grounds, at 
Aston Tavern, at Bournbrook Hotel 
(or, as it is better known, Kirby's), 
and at Pebble Mill, in most of which 
may be foumi perch, roa'di, carp, and 
pike. At Pebble Mill, March 20, last 
j'ear, a ])ike was captured 40 inches 
long, and weighing 22ibs. , Init that was 
a finny rarity, and not likely to be met 
with tiiere again, as the pool (so long 
the last resort of suicidallyinclined 
mortals is to be filled up. A little far- 
ther off are waters at Sarehole, at 
Yaniley Wood, and tlie reservoir at 
King's ISTorton, but with these excep- 
tions anglers must travel to tlieir des- 
tinations by rail. There is good fishing 
at Sutton Coldfield, Barnt Green (for 
re.-ervoir at Tardebigge), Alcester,Slui- 
stoke, Salford Priors, and other places 
within a score of miles, but free iishing 
nowhere. Anyone desirous of real 
sport should join the Biriningham and 
Midland Piscatorial Association (estab- 
lished June, 1878), which rents jiortions 
of the river Trent and other waters. 
This society early in 1880, tried their 
hands at artificial sa!mon-hatching,one 
of the tanks of the aquarium at Aston 
Lower Grounds being jilai'ed at their 
disjiosal. They were su'.'cessful in bring- 
ing some thousand or moie of their in- 
teresting protegees from the ova into 
fish shape, but we cannot find the 
market prices for salmon or trout at all 
reduced. 

Fishmongers' Hall.— Not being 

satisfied witti the accommodation pro- 
vided for them in the Fish Market, the 
Fish and Game Dealeis' Association, at 
their first annual meeting (Feb. 13, 
1878), proposed to erect a Fishmongers' 
Hall, but they did not carry out their 
intention. 

Flogging". — In " the good old 
days," when George the Third was 
King, it was not very uncommon for 
malelactors to be flogged through the 
streets, tied to the tail end of a cart. 
In 1786 several persons, who had been 
sentenced at the Assizes, were brought 
back here and so whipped through 



SIU)\VKm/.S dictionary Of OIRMINGKAM. 



the town ; and iu one iustanic, whore 
a younj; man li.id been iMUght tilcliing 
froMi tlie Mint, tlie ciilpiit was taken 
to Soiio works, and in the f.ictory yard, 
there striiiped and iU'gged by " Bhick 
Jack," of the Dungeon, as a warning 
to liis feilow-worknien. Tin's style of 
punislinient wonld liardly do now, bnt 
if some few of tlie jiresent race of 
•'roughs" conid be treated to a dose 
of "the cat" now and tiien, it niigiit 
add considerably to the peace and 
comfort of the borough. Flogging by 
proxy was not unknown in some of the 
old "scholastic establishments, but 
whipping a scarecrow seems to have 
been the amusement on Febrn^ry 26th. 
1842, when Sir Robert Peel, at that 
day a sad delinquent politically, was 
publicly flogged in eltlgy. 

Floods. — The millciains at Sutton 
burst their banks, July 24, 1668, and 
many houses wure sw"pt awav. — On the 
24th November, 1703, a three days' 
storm arosn which ex'endeii over tlie 
whole kingdom; many parts of the 
Midlands being flooded and immense 
damage caused, farmers' live stock 
especially snfiering. 15,000 sheep were 
<lrowned in one p-ir; of Gloucestershire; 
several men and hundreds of sheep 
near to Worcest r ; the losses in 
Leicestershire and Srafford.shire being 
also enormous. Though there is no 
local record respecting it here, there 
can be little doubt that the inhnbitants 
had their share of the miseries. — July 
2, 1759, a man and several horses were 
drowned in a flood near Meriden. — 
Heavy rains caused great floods here in 
January, 1764, — On April 13, 1792, a 
waterspout, at the Lickey Hills, turned 
the Kea iutoa torrent. — The lower parts 
of the town were flooded ihrongh the 
heavy rain of June 26, 1830. — There 
were floods in Deritend and Bordesley, 
Nov. 11, 1852.— June 23, 1861, parts 
of Aston, Digbeth, and the Parade 
were swamped. — Feb. 8, 1865, Hockley 
was flooded through the bursting of 
the Canal banks ; and a similaraccnJent 
to the Worcester Caual, May 25, 1872, 



laid tlie roais ami garilens about 
Wheeley's R >a 1 under watei'. — Tiiere 
were very lie.tvy rains in July and 
October, 1875, causing much damage 
in the lower parts of the town. —Aug. 
2 and 3, 1879, muny parts of the out- 
skirts were flooded, iu comparatively 
the sh )rtesc time in memory. 

FIOUP Mills.— The Union :\Iill Co. 
(now known as the Oli Union, &c.) 
was 'orined early in 1796, with a capital 
of £7,000 in £1 shares, ench share- 
holder bidng reijuired to take a given 
amount of bread i>frweek. Though at 
starting it was annoniiced that the un- 
dertaking was not intended for profit, 
such were the advantages derive<l from 
the operations of the Com pan v tiiat 
the shareholders, it is said, in addition 
to a dividend of 10 per Cinit. , received 
in the course ot a conf)le of years a 
benefit eqnal to 600 per cent, in the 
shape of reduced prices. Large divi- 
dends have at times beeti received, but 
a slightly tlifferenr, tab', is now told. — 
The New Union Mill was started in 
1810 ; the Saow Hill Mill about. 1781 ; 
the Britannia j\Iills in 1862. 

Fly Vans. — "Fly Boats" to the 
various places conut-cted with Birming- 
ham by the canals were not sufficient 
for our townspeople seventy years ago, 
and an opposition to the coaidies started 
in 1821, in the shape of Flv Vans or 
light Post Waggons, wa^ hailt-d with 
glee. These Flv Vans le'tthe Crescent 
Wharf (where Showell and Sons' Stores 
are now) three evenings a week, and 
reached Sheffield the following day. 
This was the first introduction of a 
regular "parcels' pist," though the 
authorities wonld not allow of any- 
thing like a letter being sent with a 
parcel, if t.hey knew it. 

Foolish WageP.— On July 8, 1758, 
for a wager, a man named ilorson got 
over the battlements of the tower at St. 
Martin's, and safely let himself down 
to the ground (a distance of 73 feet) 
without rope or ladder, his strength of 
muscle enabling him to reach from 



78 



SHOWELL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM, 



cornerstone to cornerstone, and cliug 
thereto as lie descended. 

Football.— See "Sports." 

Forgeries. — The manufacture of 
bogus bank-notes was carried on here, 
at one time, to an alaruuug extent, 
and even iiftj' years ago, though lie 
was too slippery a fish lor tiie authori- 
ties to laj' hold of, it was well-known 
there was a clever engraver in the 
Inkleys who would copy anything 
put before him for the merest trifle, 
even thougli the punishment was most 
severe. Under "Notable Offences" 
will he found several cases of interest 
in this peculiar line of business. 

Forks. — Our ancestors did without 
them, using their fingers. Queen 
Elizabeth had several sent to her from 
Spain, but she seldom u.^ed them, and 
we may be quite sure it was long after 
that ere the taper fingers of tlie fair 
Brums ceased to convey the titbits to 
their lips. Even that sapient sovereign, 
James I., the Scotch Solomon, did not 
Use the foreign inventior., believing 
possibly with the preacher who de- 
nounced them in the puipit that it was 
an insult to the Almighty to touch the 
meat prepared for food with anything 
but one's own fingers. Later on, when 
the coaches began to throng the road, 
gentlemen were in the habit of carrying 
with them their own knife and fork for 
use, so seldom were the latter articles 
to lie found at the country inns, and 
the use of forks cannot be said to have 
become general more than a hundred 
years ago. 

Forward. — The self-appropriated 
motto of our borough, chosen at one of 
the earliest committee meetings of the 
Town Council in 1839. Mr. William 
Middlemore i.s said to have proposed 
the use of the wor-^ as being preferable 
to any Latin, though " Vox populi, 
vox Dei," and other like appropriate 
mottoes, have been suggested. Like 
all good things,/ however, the honour 
of originating this motto has been con- 
tested, the name of Kobert Crump 



Mason haring been given as its 
author. 

Fogs. — Bad as it may be now and 

then in the neighbourhood of some of 
our works, it there is one thing in 
nature we can boast of more than 
another, it is our comparatively clear 
atmosphere, and it is seldom that we 
are troubled with fogs of any kind. In 
this respect, at ad events, the Midland 
metropolis is better oft" than its ]\Iiddle- 
sex namesake, with its " London 
particular," as Mr. Guppy calls it. 
But there was one day (17th) in De- 
cember, 1879, when we were, by some 
atmospheric phenomena, treated to 
such " apeasouper " that we must note 
it as being the curio.sity of the day, 
the street traffic being put a stop to 
while the fog lasted. 

Folk-lore. — Funny old snyings are 
to be met with among the (juips and 
quirks of " folk-lore " that tickled 
the fancies of our grandfathers. The 
fullowing is to be lound with several 
changes, but it is too good to be 
lost :-.- 

"Sutton for ii.uttoii, 
( Tamwoftli for beeves, 

WaLsall for Uiiockknees, 
And Bruiuiiiagem for thieves." 

Fountains. — Messrs. Messenger 
and Sons designed, executed, and 
erected, to order of the Street Com- 
missioners, in 1851, a very neat, ami 
for tlie situation, appropriate, fountain 
in the centre of the Market Hall, but 
which has since been rt-moved to High- 
gate Park, where it apjpears sadly out 
of place. 

The poor little boys, without any clothes. 
Looking in winter as if they were froze. 

A number of small driuking-fountains 
or taps have been presented to the 
town by benevolent persons (one of the 
neatest being tiiat put ti}) at the ex- 
pense of Mr. William White in Bris- 
tol Koad in 1876), and granite cattle- 
troughs are to be found in Constitution 
Hill, Icknield Street, Easy Row, 
Albert Street, Gosta Green, Five Ways, 
&c. In July, 1876, Miss Ryland paid 



SH0WELL8 DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



79 



for the erection of a very handsome 
fountain at the bottom of Bradford 
Street, in near proximity to the Smith 
lield. It is so constructed as to be 
available for queneliing the thirst not 
only of human travellers, Init also of 
horses, doi;s, &c. , and on this account 
it has been approjn-iately handed over 
to the care of the Society for the Pre- 
vention of Cruelty to Animals. It is 
composed of granite, and as it is sur- 
mounted by a gas lamp, it is, in more 
senses than one, both useful and orna- 
mental. — The fountain in connection 
with the Cliamberlain Memorial, at 
back of Town Hall, is computed to 
throw out live million gallons of water 
per annum (ten hours per day), a part 
of which is utilised at the tishstalls in 
the markets. The AVater Committee 
have lately yut up an ornamental foun- 
tain in Hagley Road, in connection 
with the pipe supply for that neigh- 
bourhood. 

Foxalls. — -For centur.ies one of the 
most prosperous of our local families, 
having large tanneries in Diubeth as 
far back as 1570 ; afterwards as cutlers 
and ironmongers down to a hundred 
years ago. They were also owners of 
the Old Swan, the famous coaching 
house, and which it is believed was the 
inn that Prince Rupert and his officers 
came to wlien Thomas, the ostler, was 
ihot, through officiously offering to take 
their horses. 

Fox Hunts. — With the exception 
of the annual exhibition of fox-hounds 
and other sporting dogs, Birmingham 
has not much to do with hunting 
matters, though formerly a red coat or 
two might often have been seen in the 
outskirts riding to meets not far away. 
On one occasion, however, as told the 
writer by one of those old inhabitants 
whose memories are our historical text- 
books, the inhabitants of Digbeth and 
Deritend were treated to the sight of a 
hunt in full cry. It was a nice winter's 
morning of 1806, when Jlr. Reynard 
sought to save his brush by taking a 
straight course down the Coventry 



Road right into town. Tiie astonish- 
ment of the shop-koejiers ma}' be 
imagined when the rush of dogs and 
horses passed rattling hy. R.nind the 
corner, down Bordesley High Street, 
past the Crown and Clinrch, over the 
bridge and away for the Shamldes and 
Corn Cheaping went the fox, and close 
to his heels followed the hounds, who 
caught their prey at last near to The 
Board. "S.D.R.," in one of his 
chatty gossips auent the old taverns 
of Birmingham, tells of a somewhat 
similar scene from the Quinton side of 
the town, the bait, however, being not 
a fox, but the trail-scent of a strong red 
herring, dragged at his stirrup, in 
wicked devilry, by one of the well- 
known haunters of old Joe Lindou's. 
Still, we have had fox-hunts of our 
own, one of the vuloine crew being 
killed in St. Mary's Churcliyard, Feb. 
26, 1873, while another was captured 
(Sept. 11, 1883) by some navvies at 
work on the extension of New Street 
Station. The fox, which was a voung 
one, was found asleeu in one of the sub- 
waj^s, though how he got to such a 
strange dormitory is a puzzle, and he 
gave a quarter-hour's good sport before 
being secured. 

Freemasons.— See " Manonic." 

Freeth, the Poet— The first time 

Freeth's name appears in the public 
prints is in connection with a dinner 
given at his coffee-liouse, April 17, 
1770, to celebrate Wilkes' release from 
prison. He died Se|itember 29, 1808, 
aged 77, and was buried in the Old 
Meeting House, the following lines 
being graved on his tombstone : — 

1' Free and easy through life 'twas his wish to 

proceed. 
Good men he revered, whatever their 

creed. 
His pride was a sociable evening to spend, 
For uo man loved better his pipe and his 

friend." 

Friendly Societies are not of 

modern origin, traces of many havinc 
been found in ancient Greek inscrip- 
tions. The Romans also had similar 



80 



SIIOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



societies, Mr. Toiukins, the chief clerk 
of the Registrar-General, having found 
and iSeciphered the accounts of one at 
Lannvium, the entrance fee to which 
was 100 sesterces (about 15s.), and an 
amphora (or jar) of wine. The pay- 
ments were eijuivalent to 2s. a J'ear, 
or '2d. per month, the funeral money 
being 45s., a fixed portion, 7>. 6d. 
being set apart for distribution at tlie 
burning of the bmly. Meniljers who 
di(i not pay up promptly were struck 
off the list, and the secretaries and 
treasure: s, wlien funds were short, 
went to their own pockets. — The first 
Act for regulating Friendly Societies 
was pis-ed in 1795. Few towns in 
Englanil have more sick and benefit 
I'.lu'is than Hirniingiiani, there not 
being many pnblic-hou«es without one 
attached to them, and scarcely a man u- 
factcry minus its special fund for like 
purposes. The larger socii-ties, of 
course, liave many branchirS (lodges, 
courts, &c ), au'i it would be a(li(fi- 
cult matter to i>r.rticularise them all. or 
even arrive at the aggregate number of 
their members, which, however, cannot 
be much less than 50,000: and, if to 
these we add the large number of what 
may be styled "annual gift clubs" 
(the money in hand being divided 
every year), we may safely put the 
total at something like 70,000 persons 
who take this metliod of providing for 
a rainy day. Tlie folio win £; notes re- 
specting local societies have been 
culled from blue books, annual reports, 
and private special information, the 
latter being difficult to arrive at, iu 
consequence of that curious reticence 
observable in the character of officials 
of all sorts, cUib stewarils included. 

Artisans at Large. — In March, 1868, 
the Birmingham artisans wlio reported 
on the Paris Exhibition of 1867, formed 
themselves into a society " to consider 
and discuss, from an artisan point of 
view, all such subjects as specially 
afTect the artisan class ; to promote 
and seek to obtain all such measures, 
legislative or otherwise, as shall appear 
beneficial to that class ; and to render 



to each other mutual assistance, coun- 
sel, or encouragement." Very good, 
inieed ! The benefits which have 
arisen fronr the formation of this 
society are doubtless many, but as the 
writer has never yet seen a report, he 
cannot record the value of the mutual 
assistance rend'-^red, or say wliat cay)ital 
is left over of the original fund of 
counsel aTul encouragement. 

Barbers. — -A few knights of the razor 
in 1869 met together and formed a 
"Philanthropic Society of Hair- 
dressers," but though these gentlemen 
are pioverbial for their gossiping pro- 
pensities, they tell no tales out of 
school, ami ot their charily boast not. 

Butchers — A Butchers' Benefit and 
Beuevoleiit Association was founded in 
1877. 

Coa /.dealers. — The salesmen of black 
diamonds have a mutual benefit asso- 
ciation, but as the secretary declines 
to give any information, we fear the 
mutual benefit consists solely of help- 
ing eacli other to keep tlie ]irioes up. 

Cannon Street M-de Adult Frovidcnt, 
Institution was established iu 1841. 
At tlie expiration of 1877 there were 
8,994 members, with a balance in hand 
of £72,956 I5s. od. The total receiveil 
from members to that ilate amounted 
to £184,900, out of whicli £131,400 
had been returned iu sick pay and 
funeral benefits, the iiaymeuts out 
varying from 4s. to 20s. a week in 
sickness, with a funeral benefit of £20, 
£S being allowed on the death of a 
wife. 

Carr's Lane Provident Institution 
was commenced in 1845, and has 299 
male and 323 female members, with a 
capital of £5,488, the amount paid in 
1883 oil account of sickness being 
£242, with £54 funeral money. 

Chemisiry. — A Miiiland Counties' 
Chemists' Association was formed in 
May, 1869. 

Christ Church Provident Institution 
was established iu 1835, and at the end 
of 1883, there were 646 male and 591 
female members ; during the year £423 
had been paid among 138 members ou 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



81 



account of sicknts;-, besides £25 for 
funerals. Cauital about £5,800. A 
junior or Sunday school branch also 
exists. 

Church of the Saviour Provident 
Institution was staited in 1857. 

Church School Teachirs. — The Bir- 
mingham and District Branch of the 
Church Schoolmaster's and School- 
mistresses' Benevolent Institution was 
formed in 1866, and the members con- 
tribute about £250 per year to the 
funds. 

Druids. — The order of Druids has 
five Lod<^es here, with nearly 400 mem- 
bers. The United Ancient Order of 
Druids lias twenty-one Lodfjes, and 
about 1,400 members. 

£be)iczcr Chapel S'ck Society was es- 
tablished in 1828. Has 135 members, 
whose yearij' payments average 32s. 
6d. , out of which 17s. dividend at 
Christmas comes back, the benefits 
being 10s. a week in sickness and £10 
at death. 

Foresters. — In 1745 a few Yorkshire- 
men started "The Ancient Order of 
Royal Foresters," under which title 
the associated Courts remained until 
1834, when a split took place. The 
secessionists, who gave the name of 
"Honour" to their No. 1 Court (at 
Ashton-under-Lyne), declined the 
honour of calling themselves " Royal," 
but still adhered to the antique part of 
their cognomen. The new "Ancient 
Order of foresters " throve well, and, 
leaving their " Royal " friends far 
away in the background, now number 
560,000 members, who meet in nearly 
7,000 Courts. In the Birmingham 
Midland District there are 62 courts, 
with about 6,200 members, the 
Court funds amounting to £29,900, 
and tiie Distiict funds to £2,200. 
The oldest Court in this town is the 
"Child of the Fonst," meeting 
at the Gem Vaults, Steelhouse Lane, 
which was instituted in 1839. The 
other Courts meet at the Crown and 
Anchor, Gem Street ; Roebuck, Lower 
Hurst Street ; Queen's Arms, £a«y 
Row ; White Swan, Church Street ; 



Red Cow, Horse Fair ; Crown, Broad 
Street ; White Hart, Warstone Laue ; 
Rose and Crown, Summer Row ; Red 
Lion, Suffolk Street ; Old Crown, 
Deritend ; Hope and Anchor, Coleshill 
Street ; Black Horse, Ashted Row ; 
Colemore Arms, Latimer Street South ; 
Anchor, Bradfo>'d Street ; Army and 
Navy Inn, Great Brook Street ; Red 
Lion, Smallbrook Street ; Union Mill 
Inn, Holt Street ; Vine, Lichfield 
Road ; Wellington, Holliday Street ; 
Ryland Arms, Ryland Street ; Star ami 
Garter, Great Hampton Row ; Oak 
Tree, Selly Oak ; Station Inn, Saltley 
Road ; Drovers' Arms, Bradford Street ; 
Old Nelson, Great Lister Street ; Ivy 
Green, Edward Street ; Iron House, 
iloor Street ; Green Man, Harbornc ; 
Fountain, Wrentham Street ; King's 
Arms, Sherlock Street ; Shareholdeis' 
Arms, Park Lane ; Shakes])eaie'sHead, 
Livery Street ; Criterion, Hurst Street ; 
Acorn, Friston Street ; Hen and 
Chickens, Graham Street ; Albion, 
Aston Road ; Dog and Partridge, Tin- 
dal Street ; White Horse, Great Col- 
more Street ; Carpenters' Arms, Ade- 
laide Street ; Small Arms Inn, Muntz 
Street ; Weymouth Arms, Gerrard 
Street ; General Hotel, Touk Street ; 
Railway Tavern, Hockley ; Noah's Ark, 
Montague Street ; Sportsman, Warwick 
Roail ; Roebuck, Monument Road ; 
Bull's Head, Moseley ; Swan Inn, 
Coleshill ; Hare and Hounds, King's 
Heath ; Roebuck, Erdingtou ; Fox and 
Grapes, Pensnett ; Hazelwell Tavern, 
Stirchley Street ; Round Oak and New 
Inn, Brierley Hill ; The Stores, Old- 
bury ; and at the Crosswells Inn, Five 
Ways, Langley. 

General Provident and Benevolent 
Institution was at first (1833) an amal- 
gamation of several Sunday School 
societies. It has a number of branches, 
and appears to be in a flourishing con- 
diiion, the a.ssets, at end of 1SS3, 
amountii g to over £48,000, with a 
yearly increment of about £1,400 ; the 
number of members in the medical 
fund being 5,112. 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Grocers. — Tliese gentlemen organised 
a Benevole.nt Societ)', in 1872. 

Independent Order of EecJiabites. — 
Dwellers in tents, and drinkers of no 
wine, were the original Recbabites, and 
there are about a score of "tents" in 
this district, the oldest being pitched 
in this town in 1839, and, as Iriendly 
societies, they appear to be doing, in 
their way, good service, like tiieir 
friends wiio meet in "courts" and 
"lodges," the original "tent's" cash- 
box having £675 in hand for cases of 
sickness, while the combined camp 
holds £1,600 wherewith to bury their 
dead. 

Jewellers' Benevolent A ssociaiiondeLt^s 
from Oct.. 25, 1 867. 

Medical. — A Midland Medical Bene- 
volent Society has been in existence 
since 1821. The annual report to end 
of 1883 showed invested funds amount- 
ing to £10,937, there being 265 bene- 
fit members and 15 honorary. 

Musical. — The Birmingham Musical 
Society consists almost solely of mem- 
bers of the Choral Societ}', whose fines, 
with small subscriptions from honorary 
members, furnishes a fund to cover 
rehearsal, and sundry choir expenses 
as well as 10s in cases of sickness. 

JVeiv Electing Provident Institution 
was founded in 1836, but is now con- 
nected with the Church of the Messiah. 
A little over a thousand members, oiie- 
third of whom are females. 

Oddfclloios. — The National Indepen- 
dent Order of Oddfellows, Birming- 
ham Bracch, was started about 1850. 
At the end of 1879 there were 1,019 
members, witli about £4,500 accumu- 
lated funds. 

The Birmingham District of the 
Manchester Unity of Oddfellows in 
January, 1882, consisted of 43 lodges, 
comprising 4,297 members, the com- 
bined capital of sick and funeral funds 
being £42,210. The oldest Lodge in 
the District is the " Briton's Pride," 
which M'as opened in 1827. 

The first Oddfellows' Hall was in 
King Streef, but was removed when 



Ne>v Street Station was htiilt. The new 
Oddfellows' Hall in Upper Temple 
Street was built in 1849, by Branson 
and Gwyrher, from the designs of Coe 
and Goodwin (Lewishani, Kent), at a 
cost of £3,000. The opening was 
celebrateil by a dinner on December 
3rii, same year. The " Hall " will ac- 
commodate 1,000 persons. The Odd- 
fellows' Biennial Iiloveable Comnuttee 
met in tliis town on May 29th, 1871. 

Tlie M.U. L'ulges meet at the follow- 
ing houses :--Fox, Fox Street ; White 
Horse, Congrevo Street ; Swan-with- 
two-Necks, Great Brook Street ; Al- 
bion, Cato Street North ; Hope 
and Anchor, Coleshill Street; 13, 
Tenif'le Street ; Wagon and Hor- 
ses, Edgb^ston Street ; Crystal Pal- 
ace, Six Ways, Smethwick ; Tiie 
Vine, Harborne ; Prince Artiiur, Ar- 
thur Street, Small Heath ; George 
Hotel, High Street, Solihull ; Bell, 
Phillip Street ; Bull's Head, Digbeth ; 
Edgbaston Tavern, Lee Bank, Road ; 
The Stork, Fowler Street, Nechells ; 
Three Tuns, Digbeth ; Town Hall, 
Sutton Coldtield ; Coffee House, Bell 
Street ; Coacli and Horses, Snow Hill ; 
Roe Buck, Moor Street; Drovers' Arms, 
Bradford Street; Co-operative Meeting 
Room, Stirchley Street ; Black Lion, 
Coleshill Street; Queen's Head, Hands- 
worth ; No. 1 Colfee House, Rolfe 
Street, Smethwick ; New Inn, Seliy 
Oak ; Wagon and Horses, Greet ; Tal- 
bot, Yardley ; Saracen's Head, Edg- 
baston Street ; Dolphin, Unett Street ; 
Grand Turk, Ludgate Hill ; Roebuck, 
Moor Street; White Swan, Church 
Street ; AA'hite Lion, Thorpe Street ; 
Queen's Arms, Easy Row ; Rose ana 
Crown, Wheeler Street, Lozells. 

The National Independent Order was 
instituted in 1845, and registered under 
the Friendly Societies' Act, 1875. The 
Order numbers over 60,000 members, 
but its strongholds appear to bo in 
Yorkshire and Lancashire, which two 
counties muster between them nearly 
40,000. In Birmingham district, there 
are thirteen "lodges," with a total of 
956 members, their locations being at 



SHOWKLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



83 



theCriterion, Hurst Street : Bricklayers' 
Anus, Cheapsiiie ; Ryland Anns, 
Rj'laiul S'.reet ; Sporti^maii, Moseley 
Street ; Iron Hou^e. iloor Street ; 
Excliange Inn, Higli Street ; Red Lion, 
Smallbrook Street ; Woodman. Summer 
Lane : Emily Amis. Emily Street ; 
Boar's Head, Bradford Street ; Turk's 
Hea<i, Duke Street : Bi-d-in-Haud, 
Great King Street ; Tyburn House, 
Erdington. 

Old Meeting Friendly F^ind\KKS com- 
menced in 1819, and registered in 1S24. 
Its ca]ntal at the close of the first year, 
was £5 1-is. lOid. ; at end of the tenth 
vear (1828) it was nearly £26-4 ; in 
1838, £646 :in 1848. £1,609 ; in 1858, 
£3,419; 1868, £5,549; in 1878, 
£8,237 ; and at the end of 1883, 
£9,250 16s. 2d. ; — a very fair sum, 
considering the members only num- 
bered 446, the year's income being £877 
and the out-goinirs £662. 

Railway Guards' Friendly Fund was 
originated in this town in 1848. It has 
nearly 2,200 members ; the yearly dis- 
bursements being about £6,000, and 
the payments £40 at death, with life 
pensions of 10s. and upwards per week 
to members disabled on tiie line. More 
than £85,000 has been thus distributed 
since the commencement. 

lioman Catholic. — A local Friendly 
Societ}' was kunided in 1794, and a 
Midland Association in 1824. 

Shepherds. — The Order of Shepherds 
dates from 1S34, but we cannot get at 
the number of members, &:c. August 
9, 1883 (accoi-diug to Daily Post), 
the High Sauct.iary meeting of the 
Order of Shepherds was held in our 
Town Hall, when the auditor's report 
showed total assets of the general 
!und, £921 15s. 4d., and liabilities 
£12 6s. 9id. The relief fund stood at 
£292 ISs.^Sd., being au increase of £66 
Os. lid. on the year ; and there was a 
balance of £6 13s. 9id. to the credit 
of the sick and funeral fund. 

St. Davkl's Society. — The members 
held their first meeting March 1, 
1824. 

St. Patrick's Benefit Society, dating 



from 1865 as an oflfshoot of the Liver- 
pool Society, had at end of 1882, 3,144 
members, the expenditure of the year 
was £857 (£531 for funerals), and the 
total value of the society £2,030. 

Unitarian Brotherly Society, regis 
tered in 1825, has about 500 mcHibers, 
and a capital of £8,500. 

United Brothers. — There are nearly 
100 lodges and 10,000 members o'f 
societies under this name in Idrming- 
ham and neighbourhood, some of the 
lodges being well provided for capital. 
No. 4 having £8,286 to 186 )nembers. 

United Family Life Assurance and 
Sick Benefit Society claims to have 
some 8,500 members, 750 of whom re- 
side in Biraiingham. 

United Legal Burial Society, regis- 
tered in 1846, like the above, is a 
branch only. 

Union Provident Sick Society. — 
Founded 1802. enrolled in 1826 and 
certitied in 1871, had then 3,519 mem- 
bers and a reserve fund of £8,269. At 
end of 1883 the reserve fund stood at 
£15,310 16s. 9d., there having been 
paid during the 3'ear £4,768 17s. 2d. 
for sick p:iy and funerals, besides 15s. 
dividend to each member. 

There are 15,379 Friendly Societies 
or branches in the kingdom, number- 
ing 4,593,175 members, and their 
funds amounted to (by last return) 
£12,148,602. 

Fpiends (The Society of).— 

Quakerism was publicly professed here 
in 1654, George Fox visiting the town 
the following year and in* 1657. The 
friends held their first "meetings" in 
Monmouth Street in 1659. The meet- 
ing house in Bull Street was built in 
1703, and was enlarged several times 
jirior to 1856, when it was replaced by 
the present edifice which will seat 
about 800 i)ersons. The re-opening 
took place January 25, 1857. The 
burial-ground in Monmouth Street, 
wliere the Arcade is now, was taken 
by the Great Western Railway Ce. 
in 1851, the remains of over 300 de- 
parted Friends being removed to the 



84 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



yard of the ineeting-liouse in Bull 
Street. 

FroggePy. — Before the New Street 
Railway Station was built, a fair slice 
of old 15irriiiiigliam had to be cleared 
away, and fortunately it happened to 
be one of the unsavoury portions, in- 
cluding the spot known as " Tiie 
Froggery." As there was a Duck Lane 
close by, the place most likely was 
originally so christened from its low- 
lying and watery jiosition, the connec- 
tion between ducks and frogs being 
self-apparent. 

Frosts.— Writing on Jan. 27, ISSl, 
the late Mr. Plant said that in 88 years 
there had been only four instances of 
great cold approaching comparison 
with the intense frost then ended ; the 
first was in January, 1795 ; tlie next 
in December and January, 1813-14 ; 
then followed that of January, 1820. 
The fourth was in December and 
January, 1860 - 61 ; and, lastl)', 
January, 1881. In 1795 the mean 
temperature of the twenty-one days 
ending January 31st was24'27 degrees; 
in 1813-14, December 29th to January 
ISthj exclusively, 24 9 degrees; in 
1820, January 1st to 21st, inclusively, 
237 degrees; in 1860-61, December 
20tli to January 9th, inclusively, 21 "5 
degrees ; and in 1881, January 7th to 
27th, inclusively, 23 '2 degrees. Thus 
the very coldest three weeks on record 
in this district, in 88 j^ears, is January, 
1881. With the exception of the long 
frost of 1813-4, which commenced on 
the 24tli December and lasted three 
months, although so intense in their 
character, none of the above seasons 
were remarkable for protracted dura- 
tion. The longest frosts recorded in 
the present century were as follows : — 
1813-14, December to ilaich. 13 weeks ; 
1829-30, December, January, February, 
10 weeks ; 1838, Januiry, February, 
8 weeks ; 1855, January, February, 7 
weeks ; 1878-79, December, January, 
February, 10 weeks. 

Funny Notions.— The earliest 
existing; statutes iioveruing our Free 



Grammar of King Edward VI. bear 
the date of 1676. One of tliese 
rules forbids the assistant masters to 
marry.— In 1663 (temp. Charles II.) 
Sir Robert Holte, of Aston, received a 
commission trom Lord Northampton, 
" Master of His Majesty's leash," to 
take and seize greyhoumJs, and certain 
other dogs, for the use of His Majesty! 
— The "Dancing Assembly," which 
was to meet on the 30th January, 1783, 
loyally postponed their light fantastic 
toeing, " in consequence of that being 
the anniver-sary of the martyrdom of 
Charles 1." — In 1829, when the Act 
was passed appointing Commissioners 
forDuddeston and Nechells, power was 
given for erecting gasworks, provided 
they did not extend over more than 
one acre, and that no gas was sent into 
the adjoining pari.•^h of Birmingham. — 
A writer in lUcchanics' Mngazme for 
1829, who signed his name as "A. 
Taydhill, Birmiugham," suggested that 
floor carpets should be utilized as maps 
wherewith to teach children geography. 
The same individual proposed that tne 
inhabitants of each street should join 
together to buy a long pole, or mast, 
with a rope and pulley, for use as a fire- 
escape, and recommended them to 
convey their furniture in or out of the 
windows with it, as "good practice." — 
A patent was taken out by Eliezer 
Edwards, in 1S53, for a bedstead fitted 
with a wheel and handle, that it might 
be used as a wheelbarrow. — Sergeant 
Bates, of America, invaded Birmiug- 
ham, Nov. 21, 1872, carrying the 
"stars and stripes," as a test of our 
love for our Yankee cousins. 

Funeral RefOPm.— An association 
for doing away with the expensive 
customs so long connected with the 
burying of the dead, was organised in 
1875, and slowly, but surely, are ac- 
complishing the task then entered 
upon. At present there are about 700 
enrolled members, but very many more 
families now limit the trappings of woe 
to a more reasonable as well as econo- 
mical exhibit of tailors' and milliners' 
black. 



SHOWEIj/8 DICTIJNARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



85 



FUPnitUPe. — Iiulgin^j from some 
oM records appertaining to tlie liistory 
of a very aneient family, who. until 
the town swallowed it up, farmed a 
Considerable portion of tlie district 
known as the Lozells, or Lowcells, as 
it was once called, even our well-to-do 
neighbours would appear to have been 
rather short of what we think neces- 
Siry household fnruitnre. As to chairs 
in bedrooms, there were often none ; 
and if the}' had chimnies, only mov- 
able grates, formed of a few bars rest- 
ing on "dogs." Wildow-curtains, 
drawers, carpets, and washing-stands, 
are not, according to our recollection, 
anywhere specified ; and a warming- 
jian does not occur till 1604, and then 
was kept in the bed-room. Tongs 
appear as anuexations of grates, with- 
out ])oker or shovel ; and the family 
plate-cliest was part of bed-room fiirni 
tnre. Stools were the substitutes for 
chairs in the principal sitting-room, in 
the proportion of even twenty of tlie 
former to two of the latter, which were 
evidently intended, par distinction, for 
tlie husband and wife. 

Gallon. — The family name of a 
once well-known firm of gun, sword, 
and bayonet makers, whose town- 
house was in Steelhouse Lane, opposite 
the Upper Priorj'. Their works were 
close by in Weaman Street, but the 
)nill for grinding and polishing the 
barrels ana blades was at Dmldeston, 
near to Dnddeston Hall, the Galton's 
country-house. It was this firm's 
manufactury that Lady Selbourne refers 
to in her "Diary," wherein she states 
that in 1765 she went to a Quaker's 
" to see the making of guns." The 
stiange feature of members of the 
peace-loving Society of Friends being 
concerned in the manufacture of such 
death-dealing implements was so con- 
trary to their profession, that in 1796, 
the Friends strongly remonstrated 
with the Galtons, leading to the retire- 
ment of the senior partner from the 
trade, and the expulsion of the junior 
from the bodj'. The mansion in Steel- 
house Lane was afterwards converted 



into a banking-liouse ; then used for 
the purposes of the Polytechnic Insti- 
tution ; next, after a period of dreary 
emptiue.ss, fitted up as the Children's 
Hospital, after the removal of which 
to Bioad Street, the old house has re- 
verted ro its original use, as the private 
abode of Dr. Clay. 

Gambetta.— The eminent French 
patriot was fined 2.000 francs for up- 
holding the freedom of sjwe'jh and the 
rights of the press, two things ever dear 
to Liberal Birmingham, and it was 
proposed to send him the money from 
here as a mark of esteem and sympathy. 
The Dailij Post took the matter in hand, 
and, after appealing to its 40,000 
readers every day for some weeks, for- 
warded (November 10, 1877) a draft 
for £80 17s. 6d. 

Gaols.— The Town Gaol, or Lockup, 
at the back of the Public Ofiice, in 
Moor-street, was first used in Septem- 
ber, 1806. It then consisted of a 
court)'ard, 59 ft. by 30 ft. (enclosed by 
a 26ft. wall) two day rooms or kitchens. 
14 ft. square, and sixteen sleeping 
cells, 8 ft. by 6 ft. The prisoners' allow 
ance was a ]iennyworth of bread and a 
slice of cheese twice a day, and the use 
of the pump. Rather short commons, 
considering the 41b. loaf often sold at 
Is. The establishment, which is vastly 
improved and much enlarged, is now 
used only as a place of teiuporary deten- 
tion or lockup, where prisoners are first 
received, and wait their introduction 
to the gentlemen of the bench. 

The erection of the Porough Gaol 
was commenced on October 29, 1845, 
and it was opened for the reception of 
prisoners, -tober 17, 1849, the first 
culprit being received two da3's after- 
wards. The estimated cost was put 
at £51,447, but altogether it cost 
the town about £90,000, about 
£70,000 of which has been paid off. 
In the year 1877, three prisoners con- 
trived to escape ; one, John Sutcliffe, 
who got out on July 25, not being 
recaptured till the 22nd of January 
following. The others were soon taken 
back home. The gaol was taken over 



86 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



by the government as from April 1, 
1878, Mr. J. W. Preston, being ap- 
pointed Governor at a salary of £510, 
in place of Mr. Meaden, who had re- 
ceived £450, with certain extras.— See 
"Dungeon" and "Prisons." 

The new County Goal at Warwick 
was first occupied in 1860. 

Gaol AtPOeitieS.— The first Gover- 
nor appointed to the Borough Gaol was 
Captain Maconochie, formerly superin- 
tendent over the convicts at Norfolk 
Island in the days of transportation 
of criminals. He was permitted to try 
as an experiment a "system of marks," 
whereby a prisoner, by his good con- 
duct and industry, could materially 
lessen the duration of his punishment, 
and, to a certain extent improve his 
dietary. The experiment, though only 
tried with prisoners under sixteen, 
proved very successful, and at one time 
hopes were entertained that the system 
would become general in all the gaols 
of the kingdom. So far as our gaol 
was concerned, however, it proved 
rather unfortunate that Captain 
Maconochie, through advancing age 
and other causes, was obliged to resign 
his position (July, 1851), for upon the 
appointment of his successor, Lieu- 
tenant Austin, a totally opposite 
com-se of procedure was introducpd, 
a perfect reign of terror prevailing 
in place of kindness and a humane 
desire to lead to the reformation of 
criminals. In lieu of good marks for 
' industry, the new Governor imposed 
heavy penal marks if the tasks set 
them were not done to time, and 
what these tasks were may be 
gathered from the fact that in 
sixteen months no less than fifteen 
prisoners were driven to make an at- 
tempt on their lives, through tlie 
misery and torture to which they were 
exposed, three unfortunates being only 
too successful. Of course such things 
could not be altogether hushed ui., and 
after one or two unsatisfactory ''in- 
quiries " had been held, a Royal Com- 
mission was sent down to in^-estigate 
matters. One case out of many will 



be sufficient sample of the mercies 
dealt out by the governnr to the poor 
creatures placed under his care. Ed- 
ward Andrews, a lad of 15, was sent to 
gaol for three months (March 28, 1853) 
for stealing a piece of beef. On the 
second day lie was put to work at "the 
crank," every firn of which was equal 
to lifting a weight of ■201bs., and he 
was required to make 2,000 revolutions 
before he had any breakfast, 4,000 
more before dinner, and another 4,000 
before supper, the })unishmeiit for not 
completing either of these tasks being 
the loss of the meal following. The- 
lad failed on many occasions, and was 
fed almost solely on one daily, or, 
rather, nightly allowance of bread and 
water. For shouting he was braced 
to a wall for hours at a time, tightly 
cased in a horrible jacket and leather 
collar, his feet being only moveable. 
In this posiiion, when exhausted 
almost to death, he was restored to 
sensibility by having buckets of water 
thrown over him. What wonder that 
within a month he hung himself. A 
number of similar cases of brutality 
were proved, and the Governor thought 
it best to resign, but he was: not 
allowed to escape altogether scot free, 
being tried at Warwick on several 
charges of cruelty, and being con- 
victed, was sentenced by the Court^of 
Queen's Bench to a term of three 
months' iiufuisonment. 

Garibaldi.— At a meeting of the 
Town Council, April 5, 1865, it was 
resolved to a-ik Garibaldi to pay a visit 
to this town, but he declined the 
honour, as in the year previous he had 
similarly declined to receive an offered 
town subscription. 

GaPPiSOn.— Though a strong force 
was kept m the Barracks in the old 
days of riot and turbulence, it is many 
years since we have been favoured with 
more than a single company of red 
coats at a time, our peaceful inland 
town not requiring a strong garrison. 

Gardens.— A hundred to 150 years 
a^o there was no town in England 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



87 



better supplied with gardens tliaii 
Bii-!iiiiiglia!ii, almost every house iu 
what are zio^v the main thoroughfares 
having its plot of garden ground. In 
1?31 there were many acres of allot- 
ment gardens (as they came to be 
called at a later date) where St. Bar- 
tholomew's Cliurch now stands, and in 
almost every other direction similar 
pieces of land were to be seen under 
cultivation. Public tea gardens were 
also to bo found in several (juarters of 
the outskirts ; the establishment 
known as the Spring Gardens closing 
its doors July 31, 1801. The Apolio 
Tea Gardens lingered on till 1816, and 
Beach's Gardens closed in September, 
1851. 

Gas. — William Murdoch is generally 
credited with the introduction of liglit- 
ing by gas, but it is evident that the 
inflammability of thegasprodueiblefroin 
coal was known long before his day, as 
the Rev. Dr. John Clayton, Dean of 
Kildare, mentioned it in a letter he 
wrote to the Hon. Robert Boyle, in 
1691. The Dr. 's discovery was pro- 
bably made during his stay in Virginia, 
and another letter of his shows the 
probability of his being aware that the 
gas would pass through water without 
losing its lighting properties. The 
discovery has also been claimed as that 
of a learned Frenclis«i;a?i<,bur Murdoch 
must certainly take the honour of being 
the first to bring gas into practical use 
at his residence, at Redruth, in 1792, 
and it is said that he even made a lan- 
tern to light the paths in his evening 
walks, the gas burned in which was 
contained iu a bag carried under his 
arm, his rooms being also lit up from a 
bag of gas placed under weiglits. The 
exact date of its introduction in this 
neighbourhood has not been ascertained 
though it is believed that part of the 
Soho Works were fitted with gas-lights 
in 1798, and, on the occurrence of the 
celebration of tiie Peace of Amiens, in 
1802, a public exhibition was made 
of tlie new light, in the illuminatioii 
of the works. The Gazette of April 5, 
1802 (according to extract by Dr. Lang- 



ford, in his ■' Century of Birmingham 
Lifa") described the various devices iu 
coloured lamps and transparencies, but 
strangely enough does not mention gas 
at all. Possibly gas was no longer much 
of \ novelty at Soho, or the reporter 
might not have known the nature of the 
lights used, but there is the evidence 
of Mr. Wm. Matthews, who, iu 1827 
published an " Historical Sketch of 
Gaslighting," in whicli he states that 
he had ''the inexpressible gratification 
of witnessing, in 1802, Mr. Murdoch's 
extraordinary and splendid e.xhibitiou 
of gaslights at Soho." On the other 
hand, the pi'esent writer was, some 
years back, told by one of the few ohl 
Soho workmen then left among us, 
that on the occasion referred to the 
only display of gas was in the shape of 
one large lamp placed at one end of 
the factory, and tlien called a " Bengal 
light," the gas for which was brought 
to the premises in several bags from 
Jlr. Murdoch's own house. Though it 
has been always believed that the fac- 
tory and otfices throughout were lighted 
by gas in 1S03, very soon alter the 
Amiens illumination, a correspondent 
to the Daily Post has lately stated 
that when certain of his friends went 
to Soho, in 1834, they found no lights 
in use, even for blowpipes, except oil 
and candles and that they had to \&j 
on gas from the mains of the Birming- 
ham and Statfordshire Gas Company in 
the Holyhead Road. If correct, this is 
a curious bit of the history of the cele- 
brated Soho, as other manufacturers 
were not at all slow in introducing gas 
for working purposes as well as light- 
ing, a well-known tradesman, Benja- 
min Cook Caroiine Street, having 
titted up retorts and a gasometer on his 
premises in 1808, his first pipes being 
composed of old or waste gun-barrels, 
and he reckoned to clear a profit of 
£30 a year, as against his former ex- 
penditure for candles and oil. The 
glassworks of Jones, Smart, and Co., 
of Aston Hill, were lit up by gas as 
eariy as 1810, 120 burners being used 
at a nightly cost of 4s. 6d., the gas 



88 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



being made on the premises from a 
bushel of coal per day. The first pro- 
posal to use gas iu lighting the streets 
of Birmingham was made in July 
1811, and here and there a lamp soon 
appeared, but they were supplied by 
private firms, one of wliom afterwards 
supplied gas to light the chapel for- 
merly on the site of the present Assay 
Office, taking it from tlieir works in 
Caroline Street, once those of B. Cook 
before-mentioned. The Street Cotu- 
raissioners did not take the matter in 
liand till 1815, on November 8 of 
which year they advertised for tenders 
for lighting the streets with gas in- 
stead of oil. The first shop in which 
gas was used was that of Messrs. 
Poultney, at the corner of Moor 
Street, in 1818, the pipes being laid 
from the works in Gas Street by a 
private individual, whose interest 
therein was bought up by the Birming- 
ham Gaslight Comjiany. The principal 
streets were first officially lighted by 
gas-lamps on April 29, 1826, but it was 
not uutii March, 184.3, that the Town 
Council resolved that that part of the 
borough within the parish of Edgbas- 
ton should be similarly favoured. 

Gas Companies.— The first, or 

Birmingham Gaslight Co. was formed 
in 1817, incorporated in 1819, aud 
commenced business b}' buying up the 
private adventurer who built the works 
in Gas Street. The Company was 
limited to the borougliof Birmingham, 
and its original capital was £32,000, 
which, by an Act obtained in 1855, 
was increased to £300,000, and borrow- 
ing powers to £90,000 more, the whole 
of winch was raised or paid up. In the 
year 1874 the company supplied gas 
through 17,000 meters, which con- 
sumed 798,000,000 cubic feet of gas. 
The Birmingham and Staffordshire Gas 
Co. was established in 1825, and had 
powers to lay tlieir mains in and out- 
side the borough. The original Act 
was repealed in 1845, the company be- 
ing remodelled and started afresh with 
a capital of £320,000, increased by fol- 
lowing Acts to £670,000 (all called up 



by 1874), and borrowing powers to 
£100,000, of which, by the same year 
£23,000 had been raised. The con- 
sumption of gas in 1874 was 
1,462,000,000 ciibic feet, but how 
much of this was burnt by the com- 
pany's 19,910 Pjirmingham customers, 
could not be told. The two companies, 
though rivals for the ]uiblic favour, 
did not undersell one another, both of 
them charging 10/- per 1,000 feet in 
the year 1839, while in 1873 large 
consumers were only charged 2/3 per 
1,000 feet, the highest charge being 2/7. 
The question of baying out both of the 
Gas Companies had been frequently 
mooted, but it was not until 1874 that 
anj' definite step was taken towards the 
desired end. On April 17th, 1874, the 
burgesses recorded 1219 votes in favour 
of Mr. Joseph Chamberlain's proposi- 
tion to purchase the Gas [and the 
Water] Works, C83 voting against it. 
On Jan. 18th, 1875, tlie necessary Bills 
were introduced into the House of Com- 
mons, and on July 15th and 19th, the 
two Acts were passed, though not with- 
out some little opposition from the out- 
lying parishes and townships heretofore 
supplied by the Birmingham and Staf- 
fordshire Co., to satisfy whom a clause 
was inserted, under which Walsall, 
West Bromwich, &c. , could purchase 
the several mains and works in their 
vicinity, if desirous to do so. The 
Birniingham Gas Co. received from 
the Corporation £450,000, of which 
£136,890 was to be left on loan at 4%, 
as Debenture Stock, though £38,850 
thereof has been kept in hand, as the 
whole was redeemable within ten j-ears. 
The balance of £313,000 was borrowed 
from the public at 4%, and in some 
cases a little less. The Birmingham 
and Staffordshire Gas Co. were paid iu 
Perpetual Annuities, amounting to 
£58,290 per year, being the maximum 
dividends then payable on the Co. 's 
shares £10,906 was returned as capi- 
tal not bearing interest, £15,000 for 
surplus profits, £30,000 the half-year' 
dividend, and also£39,944 5s. 4d. th 
Go's Reserve Fund. The total cost was pu 



SHOWELLS DICTIOXAUY OF BIUMINGIIAM. 



89 



ilown as £1,900,000. Tlie Annuities are 
redeemable l)j- a Sinking Fund in 85 
years. For their portion of tlie mains, 
service pipes, works, kc. formerlj' be- 
longing to the Birmingham and Staf- 
fordshire Compan}'. the Walsall autho- 
rities pay the Corporation an amount 
equivalent to annuities valued at 
£1,30C per year ; Oldbury paid £22,750, 
Tipton £34,700 and West Bromwich 
£70,750. 

Gas Fittings. — Curious notions 
appear to have been at first entertained 
as to the explosive powers of the new 
illuminator, nothing less thin copper 
orbrass being considered strong enough 
for the commonest piping, and it was 
tliought a great innovation when a 
local manufacturer, iu 1812, took out 
a patent for lead pipes copper-coated. 
Even Jlurdoch himself seems to liave 
been in dread of the burning element, 
for when, in after j'ears, his house at 
Sycamore Hill clianged owners, it was 
found that the smaller gas pipes therein 
were made of silver, possibl}' used to 
withstand the supposed corrosive effects 
of the gas. The copper-covered lead 
]iipes were patented in 1819 by Mr. W. 
Phipson, of the Dog Pool Mills, the 
present compo being comparatively a 
modern introduction. Messengers, of 
Broad Street, and Cook, of Caroline 
Street (1810-20), were the first manu- 
facturers of gas fittings in this town, 
and they appear to have had nearly a 
monopolj' of the trade, as there were 
but three others in it in 1833, and 
only about twenty in 1863 ; now their 
name is legion, gas being used for 
an infinitude of purposes, not the 
least of which is by the gas cooking 
stove, the idea of which was so novel 
at first that the Secretary of the Gas 
Office in the Jlinories at one time in- 
troduced it to the notice of the public 
by having his dinner daily cooked in 
a stove placed in one of the office 
windows. An exhibition of gas appa- 
ratus of all kinds was opened at the 
Town Hall, June 5, 1878, and that 
there is still a wonderful future for 
development is shown by its being 



seriously advocated that a double set 
of mains will be desirable, one for 
lighting gas, and the other for a less 
pure kind to be used for heating pur- 
poses. 

Gas Works. — See " PohUc Build- 
iiujs." 

Gavazzi. — Father Gavazzi first 
oratt'd lure in the Town Hall, October 
20, 1851. 

Geographical.— According to the 
Ordnance Survey, Birmingham is situ- 
ated in latitude 52° 29', and longitude 
1° 54' west. 

Gillott. — See " Notevortlvj Men." 

Girls' Home. — Eighteen years ago 
several kind-hearted ladies opened a 
ho se in Bath Row, for the reception 
of servant girls of the poorest class, 
who, through their poverty and juven- 
ility, could not be sheltered in the 
"Servants' Home," and that such an 
establishment was needed, is proved by 
the fact that no less than 534 inmates 
were sheltered for a time during 1883, 
while 232 others received help iu cloth- 
ing, &c., suited to their wants. The 
^Midland Railway having taken Bath 
House, the Home has lately been re- 
moved to a larger house near the 
Queen's Hospital, where the managers 
will be glad to receive any little aid 
that can be rendered towards carrying 
on their charitable operations. 

Glass. — In the reign of Henry VI. 
the commonest kind of glass was sold 
at 2s. the foot, a shilling in those days 
being of as much value as a crown of to- 
day. The earliest note we can find of glass 
being made here is the year 1785, when 
Isaac Hawker built a small glasshouse 
behind his shop at Edgbaston Street. 
His son built at Birmingham Heath on 
the site now occupied by Lloyd and 
Suramerfield. In 1798 Messrs. Shakes- 
peare and Johnston had a glasshouse 
in "Walmer Lane. Pressed glass seems 
to have been the introduction of Rice 
Harris about 1832, though glass "pinch- 
ers" (eleven of them) aie named in the 
Directory of 1780. In 1827 plate-gla.ss 



90 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARV OK BIRVIINGHAM. 



sold at 12*. per foot ami in ISiO at 6s., 
oi'diiiavy sheet-glass being tlien l.«. 2d. 
per foot. There was a duty on ])late- 
glass prior to April 5,1845, of 2.s. lO-^il. 
i)er foot. The " patent plate " was the 
invention of Mr. James Chance, and 
Chance Brothers (of whose works a 
notice will be found in another part of 
this book) are the only manufacturers 
in tills country of glass for lighthouse 
purpose^ — See also " Trades," &c. 

Godwilling'S.— In olden days when 
our factors started oti their tours for 
orders, it v/as customary to send a cir- 
cular in advance announcing that "God 
willing" they would call upon their 
customers on certain specified dates. 
In the language of the counting-house 
the printed circulars were called "Gotl- 
willings." 

Goldsehmidt, — Notes of the 
various visits of Madame Goldsehmidt, 
better known by her maiden name of 
Jenny Lind, will be found uuder the 
heading of " Mivsical Celebrities." 

Good Templars.— The Indepen 
dent Order of Good Templars, in this 
town, introduced themselves in 1868, 
and they now claim to have 90,000 
adult members in the "Grand Lodge 
of Etigland." 

Gordon. --LordGeorgeGordon, whose 
intemperate actions caused theLondou 
Anti-Papist Riots of 1780, was arrested 
in this town December 7, 1787, but 
not for anything connected with those 
disgraceful proceedings. Ho had been 
found guilty of a libel, and was arrested 
on a judge's warrant, and taken from 
here to Lomlon, for contempt of the 
Couit of King's Bench in not ajipear- 
ing when called upon to do so. It has 
been more than once averred that 
Lord George was circumcised here, be- 
fore being admitted to the Jewish 
community, whose rites and cere- 
monies, dress and manners, he strictly 
observed and followed ; but he first 
became a Jew while residing in Hol- 
land, some time before he took lodg- 
ings in such a classic locality as our 
old Dudley-street, where he lay hidden 



for nearly four months, a long beard 
and flowing gaberdine helping to con- 
ceal liis identity. 

Goilgh. — Gough Eoad, Gougli 
Street, and a number of other thorougii- 
fares have been named after the 
family, from whom the present Lori 
Calthorpe, inherits his property. — 
See " Edgbaston Kail." 

Grammar School. — See ' 'Schools. ' ' 
Great Brooke Street takes its 

name from Mr. Brookes, an attorney 
of the olden time. 

Great Eastern Steamship.— 

The engines for working the screw pro- 
peller, 4 cylinders and 8,500 horse- 
power (nominal 1,700) were sent out 
trom the Soho Foundry. 

Green's Village.— Part of the old 

ookeries iu the neighbourhood of the 
nkleys. 

Grub Street.— The upper part of 
Old Meeting Street was so called until 
late years. 

Guardians.— See " Poor Law." 

Guildhall.— The operative builders 
commenced to put u[) an edifice in 
183?. which they intended to call " The 
Guildhall," but it was only half 
finished when the ground was cleared 
for the railway. Some of the local 
antiquaries strongly advocated the 
ailo]itioii of the name " GuiMhall " for 
the block of municipal buildings and 
Council House, if only in remembrance 
of the ancient building on whose site, 
in New^Street, the Grammar School 
now stands. 

Guild of the Holy Cross.— 

Founded in the year 1392 by th 
"Bailiffs and Commonalty" of the 
town of Birmingham (answering to 
our aldermen and councillors), and 
licensed by the Crown, for whicii 
the town paid £50, the purpose 
being to " make and found a gild and 
perpetual fraternity of brethren and 
sustern (sisters), in honour of the 
Holy Cross," and "to undertake 
all works of charity, &c., according 



SHOWEI.l's DICTIONAUY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



91 



to the appointnieut and iiluasure of 
the said bailiffs and conunonaity. " In 
course of time the GuiUi boeame pos- 
sessed of all tiie powers then exercised 
b\' the local corporate authorities, 
taking upon themselves the buihlini,'of 
almshouses, the relief and maintenance 
of the poor, the making and kee])ing 
in rejiair of the highways used by " the 
King's ilajestie's subjects passing to 
and from the niarches of Wales," look- 
ing to the preservation of sundry 
bridges and fords, as well as repair 
of "two greate stone brydges," &c., 
&c. The Guild owned considerable 
portion of the land on which the pre- 
sent town is built, when Henry VIII., 
after confiscating the revenues aiul pos- 
sessions of the monastic institutions, 
laid haniis on the property of such 
semi-religious establishments as the 
Guild of the Holy Cross. It has never 
appeared that our local Guild had done 
anything to oli'end the King, and pos-si- 
bly it was but the name that he dis- 
liked. Be that as it may, his son, 
Edward VI., in 1552, at the petition 
of the inhabitants, returned somewhat 
more than half of the property, then 
valued at £21 per annum, for the sup- 
port and maintenance of a Free Gram- 
mar School, and it is this i)roperly trom 
which the income of the present King 
Edward VI. 's Grammar Schools is now 
derived, amounting to nearly twice as 
many thousands a> pounds were liist 
granted. The Guila Hall or Town's 
Hall in New Street (then only a bye 
street), was nut quite so large as 
either our pteseiu Town Had or 
the Council House, but was 
doubtless considere i at the time 
a very fine Imildiug, with its anticpie 
carvings and stained glass \vindows 
emblazoned with figures and armorial 
bearings of the Lords right Ferrers and 
others. As the Guild had an organist 
in its pay, it may be presumed tliat 
such an instrumenc was also there, and 
that alone go I'ar to prove the frater- 
nity were tolerably well off, as organs 
in those times were costly and scarce. 
The old building, for more than a cen- 



tury after King Edward's grant, was 
used as the school, but even when re- 
built it retained its name as the Guild 
Hall. 

Guns. — Handguns, as they were 
once termed, were first introduced into 
this country by the Flemings whom 
Edward IV. brought over in 1471, bu^ 
(though doubtless occasional * si)eci- 
meus were made by our townsmen 
before then) the manufacture of small 
arms at 15irmingham does not date 
further back tlian 1689, when inr)uiries 
were made througii Sir Richard Newdi- 
gate as to the possibility of getting 
them made here as good as those com- 
ing from abroad. A trial order given 
by Government in i\Iarch, 1692, led to 
the first contract (Jan. 5, 1693) made 
between the " Olficers of Ordnance" 
and five local manufacturers, for the 
supply of 200 '■ snaphance musquets ' 
every month for one year at 17/- each, 
an additionalS/- per cwt. being allowt-ii 
for carriage to Loudmi. The history oi 
the trade since then woitld form a 
volume of itself, but a few facts nf 
special note and interest will be given 
in its place among "' Trades." 

Gutta Fereha was not known in 

Europe prior to 1841, and the fir~r 
specimens were la'ought here in the 
following year. Speaking tubes made 
of gutta p^rclia weie introduced eurlv 
in 1849. 

Gymnasium.— At a meeting held 
Dec. IS, 1865, under the iire>idency of 
tiio Mayor, it was resolved to establish 
a public gymnasium on a large scale, 
bit at present it is non-existent, the 
only gymnasium open being that of 
the Athletic Clnb at Bingiey Hall. 

Hackney Coaches were intro- 
duced here in 1775. Hutton says the 
drivers of the first few earned 30s. per 
day ; those of the present day say they 
ilo not get half tlie sum now. Haiisom 
Cabs, the invention, in 1836, of the 
architect and designer of our Town 
Hall, were first put on the stands in 
1842. 



92 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



Half-Holiday. — Ten to twelve 
hours a day, six days a week, used to 
be the stint for workpeojde here and 
elsewhere. A Saturday Half-holiday 
movement was begun in ISni, the first 
employers to adopt the system being 
Mr. John Frearson. of Gas Street (late 
of the Waverley Hotel, Cres(^ent), and 
Mr. Richard Tangye. Winglields, 
Brown, j\Iarshall & Co., and many 
other large firms began with the year 
1853, when it maj' be said the plan 
b( came general. 

HandsWOPth. — Till within the 
la.st tliirty or torty j'ears, Handsworth 
was little more than a pleasant country 
village, though now a well-populated 
suburb of Birmingham. The name is 
to be (bund in the " Domesdaj' Book," 
but the ancient history of the parish is 
meagre indeed, and confined almost 
solely to the (amilies of the lords of 
the manor, the Wyrlej's, Stanford?, 
&.C., their marriages an<l intermarriages, 
their fancies and feuds, and all those 
petty trifles chroniclers of old were so 
lond of recording. Alter the erection 
of the once world-known, but now 
vanished Soho Works, by Matthew 
Boulton, a gradual change came o'er 
the scene ; cultivated enclosures taking 
the place of the commons, enclosed in 
1793 ; Boulton's park laid out, good 
roads made, watercourses cleared, and 
houses and mansions springing up on 
all sides, and so continuing on until 
now, when the parish (which includes 
Birchfield and Perr}' Barr, an area of 
7,680 acres in all) is nearly half covered 
with streets and houses, churches and 
chapels, alms-houses and stations, 
shops, offices, schools, and all the other 
necessary adjuncts to a populous and 
tliriving community. The Local 
Board Offices and Free Library, situate 
^n Soho Road, were built in 1878 (first 
stone laid October 30th, 1877), at a 
cost of £20,662, and it is a handsome 
pile of buildings. The library con- 
tains about 7,000 volumes. There is 
talk of erecting jmblic swimming and 
other baths, and a faint whisper that 
recreation grounds are not far from 



view. The 1st Volunteer Battalion of 
the South Staffordshire Regiment have 
their head -quarters here. Old Hands- 
worth Church, which contained several 
carved effigies and tombs of the old 
lords, monuments of ilatthew Boul- 
ton and James Watt, with bust of 
William JIurdoch, &c. , has been re- 
built and enlarged, the first stone of the 
new building being laid in Aug , 1876. 
Five of the bells in the tower were cast 
in 1701, bj' Joseph Smith, of Edgbas- 
ton, ami were the first peal sent out of 
his foundry ; the tenor is much older. 
The very appropiiate inscription on 
the fourth bell is, " God preserve the 
Church of England as by law estab- 
lished." 

HarbOPne is another of our near 
neighbours which a thousand years or 
so ago had a name if nothing else, but 
that name has come down vo present 
time witii less change than is usual, 
and, pos-ilily through the Calthorpe 
estate blocking the way, the parish 
itself has changed but very slowly, 
considering its close proximity to busy, 
bustling Birmingham. This apparent 
stagnation, however, has endeared it 
to us Brums not a little, on account of 
the many pleasant glades and sunny 
spots in and around it. Harborne 
gardeners have long been famous for 
growing gooseberries, the annual 
dinner of the Gooseberr}' Growers' 
Society having been held at the 
Green Man ever since 1815. But 
Harborne has plucked up heart latterly, 
and will not much longer be "out of the 
running." With its little area of 
1,412 acres, and only a population of 
6,600, it has built itself an Institute 
(a miniature model of the Midland), 
with class rooms and reading rooms, 
with library and with lecture halls, to 
seat a thousand, at a cost of £6,500, 
and got Henry Irving to lay the 
foundation-stone, in 1879. A Masonic 
Hall followed in 1880, and a Fire 
Brigade Station soon after. It has also 
a local railway as well as a newspaper. 
In the parish church, which was 
nearly all rebuilt in 1867, there are 



SHOWELL S DICTIONARY UF LSIKMINGUAM. 



93 



several mouuiuuiits of Dldeii date, one 
beinc; in renieiiibraLiee of a nieiuber of 
the Hinckley f.iinily, i'roiu who.se iiiiue 
that of our Inkleys is deducible ; there 
is also a stained window ro tiie memory 
of David Cox. The practice of giving 
a Christmas treat, comprising a good 
dinner, some small presents, and an 
enjoyable entertainmi-nt to the aged 
poor, was begun in 186"), and is still 
kept up. 

Hard Times.— Food was so dear 
and trade so bid in 1757 that Lord 
Dartmoutli for a long dine relieved 500 
a week out of his own pocket. In 1782 
bread was sold to tlie poor at one-third 
under its market value. On the 1st of 
July, 1795, the lessee of the Theatre 
Royal, iMr. .JlcCieady, gave the pro- 
ceeds of the nigiit's performance (£1(51 
8s.) for the benefit of the [loor. The 
money was expended in wheat, which 
was sold free of carriage. Meat was 
also very scarce on the tables of the 
poor, and a public subscription was 
opened by the High Bailitf to enable 
meat to be sold at Id. per lb. under the 
market price, which then ruled at 3d. 
to 6d. per lb. In November, 1799, 
wheat was 15s. per bushel. In Jlay, 
1800, the distressed poor were supplied 
with wheat at the " reduced price" of 
15s. per bushtd, and potatoes at 8s. per 
peck. Soup kitchens for the poor were 
opened November 30, 1816, wlien 3,000 
quarts were sold the tirst day. The 
poor-rates, levied in 1817, amounted to 
£61,928, and it was computed that out 
of a population of 84,000 at least 27, COO 
were in receipt of parish relief. In 
1819 £5,500 was collected to relieve the 
distressed poor. The button makers 
were numbered at 17,000 in 1813, two- 
thirds of them being out of work. 1825 
and 1836 were terrible years of poverty 
and privation in tliis town and neigh- 
bourhood. In 1838, 380,000 doles were 
made to poor people from a fund raised 
by publicsubscription. In the summer 
of IS-iO, lOcal trade was so b.id tliat we 
have beeu told as many as 10,000 per- 
sons applied at one oHice alone for tree 
passages to Australia, and all unsuc- 



cessfully. Empty houses could be 
counted by the hundred. There was 
great distress in the winter of 1853-4, 
considerable amounts being subscribed 
for charitable relief. In the lirst three 
months of 1855, there weie distribut^^d 
among the poor 11,745 loaves of bread, 
175,500 pintsof soup, and£725 in cash. 
The sum of £10,328 was subscribed for 
and expended in the relief of the un- 
employed in the winterof 1878-79 — the 
number of families receiving the same 
being calculated at 195,165, with a 
total of 494,731 persons, 

Hapmonies.— See '' Mitsical So- 
ielics." 

Hats and Hatters. — In 1S20 

there was but one hatter in the town, 
Harry Evans, and his price for best 
'• beavers" was a guinea and a half, 
" silks," which first appearetl in 1812, 
not being popular and " felts " un- 
known. Strangers have noted one 
peculiarity of the native Brums, 
and that is their innate dislike to 
"top hats," few of which are worn 
here (in comparison to population) 
except on Sunday, when respectable 
mechanics churchward-bound mount 
the chimney pot. In the revolutionary 
days of 1848, &;c. , when local political 
feeling ran high in favour of Pole and 
Hungarian, soft broad-brimmed felt 
hats, with tlowiug black feathers were 
en reijlc, and most of the advanced 
leaders of the day thus adorned them- 
selves. Now, the ladies monopolise 
the feathers and the glories thereof. 
According to the scale measure used 
by hatters, the average size of hats 
worn is that called 6|, representing 
one-half of the length and breadth of a 
man's head, but it has beeu noted 
by "S.D.R." that several local 
worthies have had much larger 
craniums, George Dawsou reijuiring a 
7^ sized hat, Mr. Charles Geach a 7^^ 
and Sir Josiah Mason a little over an 
8. An old Solio man once told tlie 
writer that Matthew Boulton's head- 
gear had to be specially made for him, 
and, to judge from a bust of M.B., 



94 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRM[NGHA.M. 



now in his possession, the hat required 
ninst have been exira size indee<i. 

Heapth Duty.— In 1663, an Act 

was p.t.ised for the better ordering' and 
L'ulitcuiig the revenue derived from 
" HearcJi Money," and we gather a 
few figures from a return then made, 
a.i showing the comparative number of 
the larger mansions whose owners were 
liable to the tax. The return for Bir- 
mingham gives a total of 414 hearths 
and stoves, the account including as 
well those wliich are liable to pay as 
of those which are not liable. Of 
this number 360 were charged with 
•duty, tlie house of the celebrated 
Humjihrey Jeuneus being credited 
Avilh 25. From Aston the return was 
but 47, but of these 40 were counted 
in the Hall and 7 in the Parsonage. 
Eiigbaston showed 87, of which 22 
-vera in the Hal!. Erdington was 
booked for 27, and Sutton Coldfield for 
67, of which 23 were in two houses be- 
longing to the Willoughliy iatnily. 
Coleshill would a})pear to have been a 
rather war.Tier place of abode, as thei'e 
are 125 hearths charged for duty, 30 
being in the house of Dame Mary 
Digby. 

Heaihileid, — I'rior to 1790 the 
whole oi this ueighbourliood was ojien 
common-land, the celebrated engineer 
ami inventor, James Watt, after the 
passing of the Enclosure Act. being the 
lirst to erect a residence thereon, in 
1791. By 1794 he had acc|uired rather 
more than 40 acres, which he then 
planted and laid out as a park. Heath- 
lield liouse maj' be called the cradle of 
many scores of inventions, which, 
'hough novel when first introduced, 
are n^.w but as household words in our 
everyday life. Watt's workshop was 
in the garret of the south-east corner 
of the building, and may be said to be 
even now in exactly the same state as 
when his master-hand last touched 
the tools, but as the estate was lotted 
out for building purposes in May, 1874, 
and houses and streets have been built 
and formed all round it, it is most 
likely tliat the " House " itself will 



soon lose all its historic interest, 
and the contents of the work- 
shop be distributed among the cu- 
riosity mongers, or hidden away on 
the shelves of some museum. To 
a local chronicler such a room is as 
sacred as that in which Shakespeare 
was born, and in rhe words of Mr. 
Sam Tiinmius, "to open the door and 
look upon the strange relics there is to 
stand in the very presence of the 
mighty dead. Everj'thiug in the room 
remains just as it was left by the fast 
fa.iling hands of the octogenarian en- 
f.',iueer. His well-worn, liuinble apron 
hangs dusty on the wall, the last work 
before him is fixed unfinished in the 
lathe, the elaborate machines over 
which his latest thoughts were spent 
are still and silent, as if waiting only 
for their master's hand again to waken 
them into life and work. Uixon the 
shelves are crowds of hooks, whose 
pages open no more to those clear, 
thoughtful eyes, and scattered in the 
drawers and boxes are the notes and 
memoranda, and jiocket - books, and 
diaries never to be continued now. All 
these relics of the great engineer, the 
skilful )neL'hanic, tliestudent of science, 
relate to his intellectual and public 
life ; but tiiere is a sadder relic still. 
An old hair-trunk, carefully kept close 
by the old man's stool, contains the 
childish sketches, the early copy-books 
and grammars, the dictionaries, the 
school-books, and some of the toys of 
his dearly-beloved and brilliant son 
Gregory Watt." 

HeraldPy.— In the days of the 
mail-ch.d knights, who bore on their 
shields some quaint devi e, by which 
friend or foe could tell at sight whom 
they slew or met in light, doubtlessthe 
" Kiugs-at-Anns, " the "Heralds, "and 
the "Pursuivants" of the College of 
Ai'ins founded by Kidiard III. were 
functionaries of great utility, but their 
duties nowadays are but few, and con- 
sist almost solely of tracing pedigrees 
for that portion of the community 
whom our American cousins designate 
as "ahoddv," but who. having "made 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



95 



their pile." would fain be thouglit 
of aristocratic desceiu. In such a 
Radical town as Binniri<j;ham, the study 
of 0/- and (jiUc.s, azure and vert, or any 
of the other significant terms used in 
the antique science of herahlry, whs 
not, of course, to be ex]iected, imlessat 
tiie hands of tlio antiquary or tlie piai-- 
tical lienihlic engraver, both scarce 
birds in our smoky town, but the least 
to be looked for would be that the 
boiough autho;ities should carefully see 
that the borougli coat of arms was rightly 
blaznoed. It lias been proved that; the 
towii's-namchas, at times, been spelt in 
over a gross of ditt'erent ways, and if 
any reader will take the trouble to 
look at the public buildings, banks, 
and other places where the blue, red, 
and gold of the Birmiughaui Arms 
shines forth, he will soon bo able to 
count three to four dozen different 
styles ; every carver, painter, and 
printer - apparently pleasing himself 
how lie does it. It has been said that 
when the question of adopting a coat 
of arms was on the tapis, the grave and 
reverend seniors api)oiiited to make 
inquiries thereanent, calmly took copies 
of the shields of the De Berminghams 
and the De Edgbastons, and titted the 
" bend lozengy " and the "parti j>er 
pale " together, uuiler the impression 
that the one noble family's cognisance 
was a gridiron, and the other a curry- 
comb, both of which articles they con- 
.-idered to be exceedingly appropriate 
for such a manufacturing town as 
liirmingham. ^Yiser in their practi- 
cability than the gentlemen who 
designed the present shield, thej' left 
the currycomb quarters in their pro]ier 
!>(tble a.ud argent (black and white), and 
the gridiron or and gules (a golden «;rid 
on a red-hot fire. For proper embla- 
zonment, as by Birmingham law estab- 
lished,' see the cover. 

Heathmill Lane.— In 1532 there 

was a "water mill to grynde corne," 
called " Heth mill," whiidi in thatyear 
was let, with certain lands, called the 
*' Conyngry," by the Lord of the 



Manor, on a ninety-nine years' lease, 
at a rent of £6 13s. 4d. per year. 

Here we are again !— The 

London Chronicle of August 14, 1788, 
quoting from a "gentleman" who had 
visited this town, says that " the 
people are all diminutive in size, 
sickly in appearance, and sjicinl their 
Sundays in low debauchery," the 
manufacturers being noted for " a 
great deal of trick and low cunning as 
well as [irofligacy ! " 

Hig-hland Gathering".— The Bir- 

mingtiam Celtic Societ}' held their 
tirsC " gathering " at Lower Grounds, 
August 2, 1879, when the ancient 
sports of putting stones, throwing 
hammers, etc., was combined with a 
little modern bicycling, and steeple- 
chasing, to the music of the bag- 
pipes. 

Hill (Sir Rowland). --See ''Note- 
loort.ku Men. " 

Hills. — Like tin to Kome this town 
may be said to be built on seven hills, 
ibi are there not Camp Hill anii Con- 
stitution Hill, Summer Hill and Snow 
Hill, Ludgate Hill, Hockley Hill, 
and Holloway Hill (or head). Turner's 
Hill, near Lye Cross, Rowley Regis is 
over 100ft. higher than Sedgley 
Beacon, whicli is 4S6ft. above sea 
level. The Lickey Hills are about 
800ft. above same level, but the 
highest hill within 50 miles of Bir- 
mingham is the Worcestershire 15eacon, 
1395rt. above sea level. The liighesc 
mountain in England, Scawfell Pii^e, 
has an elevation of 3229it. 

Hailstorms. — In 1760 a fierce hail- 
storm stripped the leaves and fruit 
from nearly every tree in the apple 
orchards in Worcestershire, the hail 
lying on the ground six to eight inches 
decji, many of the stones and lumps of 
ice being tiireeand iour inclics round. 
In 179S, many windows at Aston Hall 
were broken by the hail. A very 
heavy hailstorm did damage at the 
Botanical gardens and other places. 
May 9, 1833. There have been a few 



96 



SHOWBLLS DICTIOXARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



storms of later years, bat none like 
unto these. 

HeetOP. — The formation of Cor- 
poration Street, and the many hand- 
some buildini^s e:eeted and ulanued in 
its line, have improved otf tlie face of 
the earth, more tlmn one classic spot, 
noted in our local history, foremost 
among whicli we must place the house 
of Mr. Hector, the okl friend and 
schoolfellow of Dr. Samuel Johnson. 
The great lexicographer spent many 
happy hours in the abode of his friend, 
and as at one time there was a slight 
doubt on the matter, it is as well to 
place on record here that the house in 
which Hector, the surgeon, resided, 
was No. 1, in tlie Old Sijuare, at the 
corner of the ]\Iinories, afterwards 
occupied by Mr. William Scholetield, 
Messrs. Jevons and Mellor's handsome 
pile now covering the spot. The old 
rate books prove this beyond a doubt. 
Hector died there on the 2nd of Sep- 
tember, 1794, afcer having practised 
as a surgoon, in Birmingham, for the 
long period of sixty-two years. He 
was buried in a vault at Saint 
Philip's Church, Birmingham, where, 
in the middle aisle, in the front 
of the north galler}', an elegant in- 
scription to his memory was placed. 
Hector never married, and Mrs. Care- 
less, a clergyman's widow, Hector's 
own sister, and Johnson's " lirst 
love," resided with him, and appears 
by the burial register of St. Philip's to 
have died in October, 1788, and to have 
been buried there, probably in the 
vault in which her brother was after- 
wards interred. In the month of No- 
vember, 1784, just a month before his 
own decease, Johnson passed a few 
days with his friend, Hector, at his 
residence in the Old Sijuure, who, in a 
letter to Boswell, thus speaks .of the 
visit: — "He" (Johnson) "was very 
solicitous with me, to recollect some of 
our mo.st early transactions, and to 
transmit them to him, for I perceived 
nothing gave him greater pleasure than 
calling to mind those days of our in- 
nocence. I complied with his request, 



and he only received them a few days 
before his death.' Johnson arrived in 
London from Birmingham on the 16th 
of November, and on the following day 
wrote a most affectionate letter to Mr. 
Hector, which concludes as follows : — 

"Let us think seriously on our duty. 
I send my kindest respects to dear 
Mrs. Careless. Let me have the 
prayers of both. We have all lived 
long, and must soon part. God have 
mercy upon us, for the sake of our Lord 
Jesus Christ ! Amen ! " 

This was probably nearly the last 
letter Johnson wrote, for on the 13th 
of the following month, just twenty- 
seven days after his arrival in London 
from Birmingham, oppressed with 
disease, he was numbered with the 
dead. 

HinkleyS. — Otherwise, and for 
very many years, known as " The 
Inkleys," the generally-accepted deri- 
vation of the name being taken from 
the fact that one Hinks at one time 
was a tenant or occupier, under the 
Smalbroke famil}-, of the fields or 
" leys " in that locality, the two first 
narrow roads across the said farm being 
respectively named the Upper and the 
Nether Inkleys, afterwards changed 
to the Old and New Inkleys. Pos- 
sibly, however, the source may be 
found in tlie family name of Hiucklej', 
as seen in the register of Harborne. A 
third writer suggests that the 
character of its denizens being about 
as black as could be painted, the place 
was naturally called Ink Leys. Be 
that as it may, from the earliest days 
of iheir existence, these places teem 
to liave been the abode and habitation 
of the queerest of the queer peoph', 
the most aristocratic resident in our 
local rtcoids having lec-n " Beau 
Green," the dandy — [see " A'cccntrics"] 
— who, for some years, occupied the 
chief building in the Inkleys, nick- 
named ■'' Rag Castle," otherwise Hin- 
kley Hall. The beautiful and salu- 
brious neighbourhood, known as 
"Green's Village," an oftshoot of the 



SIIOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMIJJGUAM. 



y? 



Inkievd, was c-illcd sj in houjur of the 
*' Beau." 

Hiring' a Husband.— In isir., a 

J'lirininghoiii cirpeiiter, after ill-treat- 
ing his wife, leasetl himself to aiioiher 
woman b\' a documeiiC which an un- 
scrupulous attorney had the hardihood 
to draw up, and for whieli he charged 
thirty-five shillings. This jirecious 
document bound the man and the 
woman to live together permanently, 
and to supjiori and succour each other 
to the utmost of their power. The 
poor wife was, of couise, no consenting 
party to this. She ajjpealed to the 
law ; the appeal brought the "lease" 
before the eyes of the judiciary ; the 
man was brought to his senses (though 
probably remaining a b.id husband), 
and the attorney received a severe re- 
buke. 

HiStOPieal- — A local Historical 
Society was inaugurated with an ad- 
dress from Dr. Freeman, Nov. 18, 
1880, and, doubtless, in a few years 
the reports and proceedings will be of 
very great value and interest. The 
fact that down to 1752 the historical 
year in Enf,land commenced on January 
1, while the civil, ecclesiastical, and 
Ifgal year began on the 25th of ilarch, 
led to much confusion in dates, as the 
legislature, the church, and civilians 
referred every event which took place 
between Januarj^ 1 and March 25 to a 
different year from the historians. 
Remarkable examples of such con- 
fusion are afforded by two well-known 
events in English history : Charles I. 
is said by most authorities to have been 
beheaded January 30, 1643, while 
others, with equal correctness, say it 
was January 30, 1649 ; and so the re- 
volution which drove James 11. from 
the throne is said by some to have 
taken place in February, 1688, and by 
others in February, 1689. Now, these 
discrepancies arise from some using 
the civil and legal, and others the his- 
torical year, though both would have 
assigned any event occurring after the 
25th of March to the same years — viz., 



1649 and 1689. To avoid as far as 
l)oss'ble mistakes from these two 
modes of reckoning, it was usual, as 
often seen in old books or manuscripts, 
to add the historical to the legal date, 
\\hen speaking of any day between 
Jauuary 1 and March 25, thus : 

o , i.e. 1648, the civil and 

T on i^>i I [legal year. 

Jan. 30, 164--^ . i^,n ♦! i • *^ • i 

' q I Z.C., lt)49, the historical 

^ [year. 

or thus, January 30, 1648-9. 
This practice, common as it was for 
niauy years, is, nevertheless, often 
misunderstood, and even intelligent 
jiersons are sometimes perplexed by 
dales so written. The explanation, 
however, is very simple, for the lower 
or last figure always indicates the year 
according to our present calculation. 

Hockley Abbey.— Near to, and 

overlooking Boulton's Pool, in the year 
1799 there was a piece of waste land, 
which being let to ilr. Richard Ford, 
one of the mechanical worthies ot that 
period, was so dealt with as to make the 
spot an attraction for every visitor. 
Mr. Ford employed a number of hands, 
and some of them he observed were in 
the habit oi spending a great part of 
their wages and lime in dissipation. 
By way ot example to his workmen he 
laid aside some 12/- to 15/- a week for 
a considerable period, and .vhen trade 
w-as occasionally slack with him, and 
he had no other occupation for them, 
he sent his horse and cart to Aston 
Furnaces for loads of " slag," gathering 
in this way by degrees a sulhcient quan- 
tit}' of this strange building material 
for the erection of a convenient and 
comfortable residence. The walls being 
necessarily constructed thicker than 
is usual when mere stone or brick is 
used, the fancy took him to make the 
place represent a luiaed building, 
which he christened " Hockley Abbey," 
and to carry out his deceptive notion 
the date 1473 was placed in front of the 
house, small pebbles set in cement being 
used to form the figures. In a very few 
years by careful training nearly the 



98 



SHOWELiL'tJ mOTlONAUV OF BIRMINGHAM. 



whole of the building was overorown 
wilh ivy, and few but those in 
the secret could have guessed 
at the history of this ruined 
"abbey." For the house and bonie 
iifteen acres of land £100 rent was paid 
by Mr. Hubert Gallon, in 1S16 and 
following years, exclusive of taxes, and 
by way of comfort to the heavily- 
burdeneil householders of to-day, we 
may just add that, in addition to all 
those other duties loyal citizens were 
then called upon to provide for the 
exigencies of the Government, the pa- 
rochial taxes on those premises from 
Michaelmas, 1816, to Michaelmas, 1817, 
included two church rates at 30s. each, 
tiiree highway rates at 30s. each, and 
thirty-aix levies for the poor at 30s. 
each— a total ol £61 10s. in the twelve 
mouths. 

Hollow Tooth Yard,— At one 

time commonly calltd the "Devil's 
Hollow Tooth Yard." This was the 
name given to the Court up the gate- 
way in Bull Street, nearest to Mon- 
mouth Street 

Holt Street, Heneage Street, 
Lister Street, &c., are named after the 
Holte family. 

Home Hitting-.— Tiie Rev. John 
Home, a Scotch divine, who viciied 
Birmingham in 1802, said, " it seemed 
here a> if God had created man only 
for making buituus. " 

Horse Fair. — Formerly known as 
Brick-kiln Lane, received its present 
name from the fairs first held ihere in 
1777. 

Horses. — To find out the number 
of these useful animals at present iu 
Birmingham, is an impossible task ; 
but, in 1873, the last year before its 
repeal, the amount paiit for "horse 
duty " in the Borough was £3,294 7s. 
6d., being at the rate of 10s. 6d. on 
6,275 animals. 

Hospital Saturday.— The fact of 

the contributions on Hospital Sundays 
coming almost solely from the middle 
and more wealthy classes, ltd to the sug- 



gestion that if i,he workers of the town 
could be organised they would not biJ 
found wanting any more than their 
" betters." The idea was <piickly taken 
up, committees formed, and cheered by 
the munificent offer of £500 from ]\lr, 
P. H. Muutz towards the expenses, the 
first collection was made on March IStli 
1873, the re.sult being a gross receipt of 
£4,705 lis. 3d. Of this amount £490 
8s. lOd. was collected from their cus- 
tomers bj' the licensed victuallers and 
beerhouse keepers ; the gross totals 
of each year to the present time be- 
ing— 



187:; 


.. ^4,705 11 


;; 


1874 


4,123 15 


2 


1S75 


a,S03 11 


8 


187(i 


3,«B4 13 


8 


1877 


3,200 17 





1S7S 


3,134 5 





187f) 


3,421 10 


2 


1880 


3,760 9 





ISSl 


3,968 18 


7 


1882 


4,8S8 IS 


9 


ISSI! 


5,439 9 





1884 


G,0(i2 10 


6 



After detlucting for expenses, the 
yearly amounts are divided, ^jro r.ata, 
according to their expenditures among 
tlie several hospitals and simil ir cliariT. 
ties, the proportions in 1883 be-, 
ing:— General Hospital, £1,843 4.s. Id.; 
Queen's Hospital, £931 8s. 3d.; 
General Dispensary. £561 Is. 7d. ; 
Children's Hospital, £498 Os. 4d. ; Eye 
Hospital, £345 O.-'. 4d. ; Birmingham 
and Midland Counties' Sanatoritxm, 
£211 Os. 4d. , Women's Hospital, £193 
Is. 9d. ; Homcepaihic Hospital, £195 
5s. 3d. ; Orthopcedic Ho.'^pital. £138 
13s, 6d. ; Lying-in Ciiarity, £67 6s. 
5d. ; Skin and Li^ck Hosiutal, £44 14s. 
8q. ; Ear and Throat Infirmary, £26 
12s. 8d. ; Dental Hospital, £9 5.s. 3d. ; 
and Birmingham Nursing District 
Society, £34 17s. 7d. The total sum 
thus distributed iu the twelve years is 
£48,574 18s. 9d. ' ', 

Hospital Sunday. — There is,, 
nothing new under the sun ! Birming- > 
ham has tlie honour of being credited 
as the birth-place of "Hospital Sun- 
days," but old newspapers tell us. 



SIJOWEI.I.'s DICTIONAHY OF lUKJIlNCillAM. 99 

that as f.ir l)nck as 1751, when lUth Hospitals. — The General Hospital 

was ill its piiiic ami <^Uny, one Sunday niay be said to have been coinineiiced 
ill each year was set aside in that city i„ the year 17(36, when the first steps 
for the collection, at every place of were taken towards tlie erection of snch 

worship, of funds for Bath Hospital ; an institution, but it was not formally 

and a correspondent writiu<,' to Aris's opened for the rece[)tion of pitients 

Gazette reconmiended the adoption until 1779. The ori^dnal outlay on 

of a similar plan m this town. the building was £7,140, but it lias re- 

The first sugi,'estion for the j)resent ceived many additions .siufe then, hav- 

looal yearly Sunday collection for the ing been enlarged in 1792, 1830, 1842, 

hospitals appeared in an article, 1857 (in wliicli year a n«w wii'ig was 

written by Mr. Thos. BaiKr Wright, erected, nominally out of the proceeds 

in the Midlrind Counlks Herald in of a fete at Aston, which brou'dit in 

October, 1S59. A collection of this £2,527 6s. 2d.), 1865, and during the 

kind took place on Sunday, the 27th last few years especially. The last 

of that month, and the lirst public additions to the edifice consist of a 

meeting, when arrangements were separate " home" for the staff of nurses, 

made for its annual continuaiicp, was utilising their former rooms for the 

held in the Town Hall, December 14tli admittance of more patients ; also two 

same year, under the presidency of Dr. large wardi^, for cases of personal injury 

Miller, who, therefrom, lias been from lire, as well as a liiortuary, with 

generally accredittd with bt^ing the dissecting and juiy rooms, he, the 

originator of the plan. The proceeds total cost of these improvements being 

of the first year's collection WL-re given nearly £20,000. For a long period, 

to the General Hospital, the second this institution has rank eil as one of 

year to the Queen's, and the third year the first and noblest charities in the 

divided aniQiig the other charitable in- provinces, its doors being opened for 

fctitutions in the town of a like cliarac- the reception of cases from all parts of 

ter, and this_ order of rotation lias been the surrounding counties, as \to11 as 

adhered to since. our own more immediate district. The 

The following is a list of the gross long list of names of surgeons and 

amounts collected since the establish- physicians, who have bestowed the 

ment of the movement :— benefits of their learning and skill 

J«rn n'l'!,',- ."','S* ^'H-n fi ^? "!'«" the unforiunate sufierers, brought 

1S60 Queen s Hcispiial d,4J,i b i '.i ■ -i n • i i /. 

isoi AiiKilfraiiuitMCluiritie.s.... 2,953 14 witlun its walls, includes many of the 

isiii Oeiifial Hospital 3.340 4 7 highest eminence in the profession, 

istia Queen's H.psi>iUl 3,293 5 locally aud Otherwise, foremost araonf' 

1804 Aliialgaiiiateit chanties 3,178 5 ,vlinT.i .,^„uh 1-.0 , >!..,. «,1 »!, ,+ e T\ * i '^ 

1805 Ge..ei°aHns,Mtal 4,2-.(; 11 11 ""°'" '"^^^'^ "^ P'^^^d that of Dr. Ash, 

1866 Queens II.. s|ital 4,1:13 2 10 tlio fust pn3'sician to the institution, 

18(i7 Aiiial^'aiiiaie.i Charities — 3.6-J4 9 7 and to whom much of ;he honour of its 

li^S^n'ilSltal:::;:::::: "^ VI est.'^ii^i;|-nt belongs. The c^.nec 

1870 Amalgamated Charities.... 4,111 ti 7 tion Of tile General Hospital with the 

1871 General H.>spital 4,8SG 9 2 Triennial Musical Festivals, which, for 

1872 Queens H.ispital.... o,i92 2 z a hundred years, i,ave been held for its 

1873 Amal-'amaleil chanties o.3,0 8 3 l,„„„K,r 1,,.. 1„.,K,1 c ^ 

1874 Geuei"^ Hospital.. 5,474 17 11 l>«»efir, las, doubtless, gone faf 

1875 Queeu's UoM'ital 5,800 8 8 towards the support of the Gharitv, 

1870 Amal^'amated Charities.... 5,265 10 10 very lu-arly £112,000 having been I'e- 

"^ §u:;:;-sli;;:S;:}:;:::::::: S 1' lo ---^ •-- that source altogether, and 

1879 Amalgamat'd Charities.... 5,182 3 10 ^Ue periodical, collections on Hospital 

1860 General Hosjiital 4,883 1 8 Sundays and Saturdays, jiave still 

1881 Queens Ilo.spital.. t'tf-^ ^\ I further aided thereto, but it is to the 

1882 Amalgamated chanties 4,800 12 b ,.,^„f,.;K„f;^, , ^c ,1 ii- i. i 

1883 General H..s,.ital 5.145 5 contributions of the public at large 

1884 Qieen's Hospital that the governors of the institution 



100 



SHOWELL's DIGTIOXARY of BinMINGHAM. 



are principally iiidehteil for tlieir ways 
and means. For the first twenty-five 
years, the number of in-patients were 
largely in excess of the out-door 
patients, there being, during that 
jieriod, 16, ."188 of tlie former under 
treatment, to 13,009 of the latter. 
Down to 1861, rather more than half- 
a-million cases of accident, illness, &c., 
had been attended to, and to show the 
yearly increasing demand made upon 
the funds of the Hospital, it is only 
necessary to give a few later dau.s. In 
1860 the in-patients numbeitd 2 850, 
the out-patients '20,f>84, atid the ex- 
penditure was £4,191. In 1870, the 
total number of patients were 24,082, 
and the expenditure £12,207. The 
next three years showed an average of 
28,007 patients, and a yearly expendi- 
ture of £13,900. During the last four 
years, the benefits of the Charity have 
been bestowed upon an even more 
rapidh'-increasing scale, the number 
of cases in 1880 having been 30,785, in 
1881 36,803, in 1882 44,623, and in 
1883 41,551, the annual outlay now re- 
quired being considerably over £20,000 
per year. When the centenary ot 
the Hcspital was celebrated in 1879, 
a suggestion was made that an event 
so interesting in the history of 
tlie charity would be most fitt- 
ingly commemorated by the es- 
tal.'lishnient 01 a Suburban Hospital, 
where patients vhose diseases are of a 
chronic character could be treated 
with advantage to themselves, and 
with relief to the parent histilulion, 
wdiich is always so pressed for room 
that many patients have to be sent 
out earlier than the medical officers 
like. The proposal was warmly taken 
up, but no feasible way of carrying it 
out occurred until October, 1883, when 
the committee of the Hospital had 
the pleasure of receiving a letter 
(dated Sept. 20), from Mr. John Jatf- 
ray, in which he stated that, having 
long felt the importance of having a 
Suburban Hospital, and with a desire 
to do some amount of good for the 
community in which, for many years, 



he had received so much kindness, 
and to which, in great measure, he 
owed his prosperit}', he had secured a 
freehold site on which he proposed to 
erect a building, capable of accom- 
modating fifty male and female 
patients, with the requisite offices for 
the attendants and servants, and 
offered the same as a free gift to the 
Governors, in trust for the public. 
This most welcome and munificent 
offer, it need hardly be said, was grate- 
fully accepted, and a general appeal was 
made for i'linds to properly endow the 
"Jallray Suburban Hospital," so that 
its maintenance and administration 
shall not detract from the extending 
usefulness of the parent institution. 
The site chosen by Mr. Jafliray is at 
Gravelly Hill, and it is estimated the 
new branch hos))ital, of which the first 
stone was laid June 4, 1884, will cost 
at least £15,000 in erection. Towards 
the endowment fund there have been 
nine or ten donations of £1,00C each 
promised, and it is hoped a fully suffi- 
cient amount will be raised before 
the building is completed, for, in the 
words of ilr. Jafi'ra}', we " have great 
faith in the liberality of the public 
towards an institution — the oldest and 
noblest and ablest of our medical 
charities — which for more than a 
century has done so much for the 
relief of human suffering : and tannot 
help believing that there are in Bir- 
mingham many persons who, having 
benefited by the prosperity of the town, 
feel that they owe a duty to the com- 
munity, and Avill gladly embrace this 
opportunity of discharging at least some 
part of their obligation." Patients are 
said to be admitted to the General Hos- 
pital by tickets from subscribers ; but, 
ill addition to accidents and cases of 
sudden illness, to which the doors are 
open at all hours, a large number of 
patients are admitted free on the i"e- 
commendation of the medical officers, 
the proportion of the cases thus ad- 
mitted being as six to ten with sub- 
scribers' tickets. 



8H0WHI.LS DICTIONARY OF BIUMINGHAM. 



101 



It is estimated that a capital sum of 
at least £00,000 will be n-ciuired to 
produca a siidlciently larf,'e income to 
maintain the Jatlray Subuiban Hos- 
pital, and donations liave been, and are 
iroliciteil for the raising of that sum. 
Up to the time of ?oing to press with 
the "Dictionary," there has been con- 
trib'ited nearly £24,000 of liie amount, 
of which the largest donations are : — 

G. F. Mmitz, Esq £2,000 

The Ri','lit Hon. Lord Oalthorpe 1,000 

Trustees uf Uu lley Trust 1,000 

W. B. Cregoe Coliuore, Esq.... 1,000 

Raliili Ileaton, Ksq 1,000 

Jaiues Hink.s, Esq 1,000 

Lloyils' Old Bank 1,000 

\V. iMiildUinore, Esq i,000 

Mr.s. Elizalx'tb I'liiiisuii 1,000 

Miss llylaiul I,0u0 

Mrs. Si'iiicox 1,000 

Messr.s. Taniiycs (Limited) 1,000 

HeDry \Vis;K'iii,Esq , MP 1,000 

Mr. John Wilkes 1,000 

About £5,000 more has been sent in 
hundreds and fifties, and doubtless 
many other laige j<ilts will follow. 

The. Queen's Hospital was commenced 
ill 1840, tlie tirst stone being laid by 
Earl Howe on the 18th of June. His 
Royal Highness the Prince Consort 
was chosen as lirst president, and re- 
mained so until liis death, the office 
not being tilled up again until 1875, 
when Lord Leigh was appointeil. 
Many special efforts have been made 
to increase the funds of this hospital, 
and with great success ; thu-', on Dec. 
28, 1848, Jenny Lind sang for ir, the 
recei[)ts amounting to £1,070. On 
Juiy 27, 1857, a fete at Aston Park 
added £2,527 6s. 2d. (a like sum being 
given to the General Hospital). In 
1859, ,\lr. Saud.s Cox (to whom is due 
the merit of originating the Queen's 
Hospital), commenced the arduous task 
of coUeciiiig a niillion postage stamps, 
equivalent to £4,166 ISs. 4d., lo char 
the theu liabiliiies, to erect a chapel, 
and for purposes of extension. Her 
Majesty the Queen forwarded (Feb. 15, 
1859; a cheipie for £100 toward this fund. 
On January 16, 1869, iheworkmeii of the 
town deciueU to erect a new wing to the 
Hospital, and subscribed so freely that 



Lord Lcigii laid the foundation stone 
D^ic. 4, 1871, and ths '•Workmen's 
E.Ktensiou " was opened for patients 
Nov. 7, 1873. In 1880 a bizaar 
at the Town H.ill brought in ,£3,G87 
17s., increased by ilonations and new 
subscript'ons to £5,969. The .system 
of admission by subscribers' tickets was 
done away with Nov. 1, 1875, a regis- 
tration fee of Is. being adopted instead. 
This fee, however, is not reipiired in 
urgent cases or •iccident, nor when 
the patient is believed to be too poor 
to pay it. The ordinaty income for 
the year 1882 was £5,580, as compared 
with £1,834 in the previou.syear, when 
the ordinnry income was s\i|)plemented 
bv tlie further sum of £4,356 from the 
Hospital Sunday collection, which falls 
to the Queen's Hos()ital once in three 
years. Tiie chief iiems of ordinary 
income were, subscriptions 1881, 
£2,780; 1882, £2,788; .louations, 
1831, £397 ; 1882, £237 ; Hospital 
Siturday, 1881, £711 ; 1882, £852 ; 
legacies, 1881, £208 ; 1882, £870 ; 
dividends, 1881, £178 ; 1832, £199 ; 
registration fees, 1331, £538; 1882, 
£597. The e.xpemiiture lor the year 
was £7,264, as compared with £6,997 
in 1881. I'lie number of iu-patients 
in 1882 was 1,669, as compared with 
1,663 in 1881 ; tlie number of out- 
patients was 16,538, as compared with 
14.490 in the preceding year. Tiie 
cost of each in-patient was £3 2s. 3^d. 
Of the iu-[)atients, 811 were admitted 
by registration, the remainder being 
treated as accidents or urgent cases. 
Of the out-patieuts, 8,359 were ad- 
mitted by registration, the remainder, 
namely, 8,179, were admitted free. 

Tlie Children's Hospitnl, founded in 
1861, was first opeued for the reception 
of patients Jan. 1, 1862, in the old 
mansion in Steelhouse Lane, fronting 
the Ui>per Priory. At the commence- 
ment ot 1870 the Hospital was removed 
to Broad Street, to the building for- 
merly known as the Lying-in Hos[)ital, 
an out-patient department, specially 
erected at a cost of about £3,250, being 
opened at the same time (January) in 



102 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Steelhoiise Lane, nearly opposite tlie 
mansion first used. The Broad Street 
institution has acconimoiiation for 
about fifty children in addition to a 
separate building containing thirty 
beds for the reception of fevf-r cases, 
the erection of which cost £7,800 ; and 
there is a Convalescent Home at Alve- 
church in connection with this Hos- 
pital to which children are sent direct 
from the wards of the Hospital (fre- 
quently after surgical operations) thus 
obtaining for them a more perfect con- 
valesceiK'c thanispo'^siblewhentheyare 
leturned to their own homes, wliere in 
too many instances those important 
aids to recovery — pure air, cl.anliness, 
and good food are sadly wanting. In 
addition to tlie share of the Sutnrdaj' 
and Sundaj' yearly collections, a special 
eff'ort was made in 1880 to assist the 
Children's Hospital by a .simultaneous 
collection in the Sunday Schools of the 
town and neighbourhood, and, like the 
others, this has become a periodical in- 
stitution. In 1880. the sum thus 
gathered from the juveniles for the 
benefit of their little suffering breth- 
ren, amounted to £307 9s. lid. ; in 
1881, it was £193 10s. 5d. ; in 1882, 
£218 5s. 2.1. ; in 1883, £234 3s. Id. 
The number of patients during 1883 
were : 743 in-patients 12,695 out- 
patients, 75 home patients, and 475 
casualties— total 13,998. The expen- 
diture of the year had been £4,399 
Os. 3d., and the income but £4 087 
14s. 2d. 

Dental— This Hospital, 9, Broad 
Street, was instituted for gratuitous 
assistance to the poor in all cases of 
fiiseases of the teeth, including extract- 
ing, stopping, scaling, as well as the 
regulation of children's teeth. Any 

poor stifferer can liave immediate at- 
tention without a recommendatory 
note, but applicants requiring special 
operations must be provided with a 
note of introduction from a governor. 
About 6,000 persons yearly take their 
achers to the estalilishment. 

Ji'a7- and Throat Infirmary, founded 
in 1844, and lormcrly in Cherry Street, 



has been removed to Newhall Street, 
wliere persons suffering from diseases ot 
the ear (deafness, &c.) and throat, are at- 
tended to daily at noon. During the 
year ending Ju;ie, 1883, 6,517 patients 
had been under treatment, and 1,833 
new cases had been admitted. Of the 
total, 1,389 had been cured, 348 relieved 
ami 116 remained under treatment. The 
increase of adini.ssions over those of the 
previous year was 181, and the average 
dailyattendance of pitients was 25. The 
number of patients coming from places 
outside Birmingham was 577. The 
income of this institution is hardly up 
to the mark, considering its great use- 
fulness, the amount received from 
yearly subscribers being only £129 
13s. 6d., representing 711 tickets, 
there being received for 875 supple- 
mentary tickets, £153 2s. 6d.. and 
£15 lis. from the Hospital Saturday 
collections. 

The Eye Hospital was originated in 
1823, and the first ))atients were re- 
ceived in April, 1824, at the hospital in 
Cannon Street. Some thirty years 
afterwards the institution was nmoved 
to Steelhouse Lane, and in 1862 to 
Temple Row, Dee's Royal Hotel being 
taken and remoddled for the purpose 
at a cost of about £8,300. In 1881 
the number of ])atients treated was 
12,523 ; in 1882, 13,448 of whom 768 
were in-patients, making a total of 
over a quarter of a million since the 
commencement of the charitv. Adn.is- 
sion b)' subscriber's ticket. Originally 
an hotel, the building is dilapidated 
and very unsuitable to the require- 
ments of the ho.-pital, the space for 
attendants and patients being most 
inadequate. This has been more and 
more evident for years i^ast, and the 
erection of a new building became an 
absolute necessity. The governors, 
therefore, have taken a plot of land at 
the corner of Edmund Street and 
Church Street, upon a lease from the 
Colmore family for 99 years, and here- 
on is being built a commodious and 
handsome new hospital, from carefully- 
arranged plans suitable to the peculiar 



SHOWELl/S niCTtONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



103 



necessities of an institution of tliis 
nature. Tlieesti mated cost of the new 
buil.iing is put at £20,000, of wliioli 
only about £8,000 has yet been s'.;b- 
scrilieii (£5,000 of it beini,' from a 
single donor). In such a town as 
Kirinin^liani, and indeed in such a 
district as surround:-' us, an institution 
like the Birniiugliani and Jlidland Kyo 
Hospital is not only useful, but posi- 
tively indisppusable, ami as there are 
no restrictions as to distance or 
place of abode in the matter of patients, 
theapiiealmade for the necessary build- 
ing funds should meet with a quick 
and generous response, not only from a 
few large-hearted coiitributiU's, whose 
names are liouseliold words but also 
from the many thousands who have 
knowledge directlv or imiirectly of 
the vast benefit this hospital has con- 
ferred upon those stricken by disease 
or accident — to that which is the most 
precious of all our senses. It is in- 
tended that the liospital should b-^ a 
model to the whole kingdom of wliat 
such an institution ought to be ; ihe 
latest and l)est of modern appliances, 
both sanitary and surgical, will be in- 
troduced. There will be in and out 
departments, comj)letely isolated one 
from the other, though with a door of 
communication. From sixty to seventy 
1)e<'is will lie provided, special wards 
for a certain clas> of cases, adequate 
waiting-rooms for out-patients, and 
the necessary rooms for the officers 
and medical attendants, all being on an 
ample scale. 

Fever Hospital. — There was a Fever 
Hospital opened in March, 18'28, but 
we have no note when it was closed, 
and possibly it may have been only a 
teinjiorary institution, such as become 
necessary now and then even in these 
days of sanitaiy science. For some 
years past fever patients requiring 
isolation have been treated in the 
Borough Hospital, but the Health 
Committee have lately ]nirchased a 
plot of land in Lodge Road of about 
4^ acres, at a cost of £4,500, and 
haveerectetl thereon a wooden pavilioUj 



divided into male and female wards, 
with ail nec^'ssary bath rooms, nurses' 
rooms, &c. , everything being done 
which can contribute to the comfort 
and care of the inmates, while the 
greitest attention has been paid to the 
ventilation and other necessary items 
tending to their recovery. This pavi- 
lion is only a portion of the scheme 
which the committee propose to carry 
out, it being intended to build four, if 
not live, other wards of brick. A tem- 
porary block of administrative build- 
ings has been erected at some distance 
from the pavilion. There accommoda- 
tion is provided for the matron, 
the resident medical superintendent, 
the nurses when off duty, and the 
ordinary kitchen, .scullery, and other 
offices are attached. When the 
permanent offices have been erec- 
ted this building will be devoted to 
special fever cases, or, should there 
be a demand, private cases will be 
taken in. The cost of the whole 
scheme is estimated at £20,000, in- 
cluding the sum given for the land. 
It is most devoutly to be wished that 
this hospital, which is entirely free, 
will be generally used by families in 
case of a nieinber thereof be taken with 
any nature of infectious fever, the most 
certain remedy against an epidemic of 
the kind, as well as the most favour- 
able chance for the patient being such 
an isolation as is here provided. The 
hospital was opened September "11, 
1883, and in cases of scarlet fever and 
other disorders of an infections charac- 
ter, an immediate application should 
be made to the health officer at the 
Council House. 

Ilomceoimtldc. — A disjiensary for the 
distribution of hoimeopattiic remedies 
was opened in this town in 1847, and 
though the new system met with the 
usual opposition, it has become fairly 
popular, an ditsi)ractitioners have found 
friends sufficient to induce them to 
erect a very neat ami convenient hos- 
pital, in Easy Row, at a cost of about 
£7,000, which w.is opened November 
23rd, 1875, and may possibly soon be 



104 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BinMINGHAM. 



enlarged. A small paymeut, weekly, 
is looked for, if the patient can afford 
it, but a fair number are admitted free, 
and a much larger number visited, the 
average number of patients being 
nearly 5,000 per annum. Information 
given on enquiry, 

Hos2ntal for JFomen. — This estab- 
lishment in the Upper Priory was 
opened in October, 1871, fur the treat- 
ment of diseases special to females. Ko 
note or ticket of recommendation is re- 
quired, applicants being attended to 
daily at two o'clock, except on Satur- 
day and Sunday. If in a position to 
pay, a nominal sum ol 2s. 6d. a month 
is expected as a contribution to the 
funds, which are not so flourishing as 
can be Avished. The in-patients' de- 
partment or home at Sparkhill has ac- 
commodation for 25 inmates, and it is 
always full, while some thousands are 
treated at the town establishment. 
The number of new cases in the out- 
patient department in 1883 was 2,648, 
showing an annual increase of nearly 
250 a year. Of the 281 in-patients ad- 
ditted last year, 205 had to undergo 
surgical operations of various kinds, 
124 being serious cases ; notwithstand- 
ing which the mortality showed a rate 
of only 5 '6 per cent. As a rule many 
weeks and months of care and attention 
are needed to restore the general health 
of those who may have, while in the 
hos[)ital, successfully recovered from 
an ojieration, but there has not hitherto 
been the needful funds or any organi- 
sation for following up such cases after 
they have left Sparkhill. Such a work 
could be carried on by a District Nurs- 
ing Society if there were funds to de- 
fray the extra expensp,and at their last 
annual meetingthe Managing Commit- 
tee decided to appeal to their friends for 
assistance towards forming an endow- 
ment fund for the treatment of [)atients 
at home during their convalescence, 
and also for aiding nurses during times 
of sickness. An anonymous donation 
of £1,000 has been sent in, and two 
other donors have given £500each, but 
the treasurer will be glad to receive ad- 



ditions thereto, and as early as possible, 
foi sick women nor sick men can wait 
long. The total income for 1883 
amounted to £1,305 16s. id., while 
the expenditure was £1,685 4s. lid., 
leaving a deficit much to be regretted. 
Lying in Ilospilal. — Founded in 
1842, and for many years was located 
in Broad Street, in the mansion since 
formed into the Children's Hospital. 
In 1868 it was deemetl advisable to 
close the establishment in favour of the 
present plan of supplying midwivesand 
nurses at the poor patients' homes. In 
1880 the number of patients attended 
was 1,020 ; in 1881, 973 ; in 1882, 
894 ; in 1883, 870. In each of the 
two latter years there had been two 
deaths ill morhers (1 in 441 cases) about 
the usual average of charitj'. The 
number of children born alive during 
the last year was 839, of whom 419 
were males, and 420 females. Four 
infants died ; 37 were still-born. 
There were 6 cases of twins. The 
assistance of the honorary surgeons 
was called in 24 times, or once in 37 
cases. The linancial position of the 
charity is less satisfactory than could 
be wished, there being again adeficieucy. 
The subscriptions were £273, against 
£269 it; 1882 and £275 in 1881. There 
was a slight increase in theamountof do- 
nations, but an entire absence of legacies, 
wliich, considering the valuable assist- 
ance rendered by the :harity to so 
many poor women, is greatly to be de- 
plored. The medical board have 
the power to grant to any woman who 
passes the examination, the subjects 
of which are defined, a certificate as a 
skilled midwife, competent to attend 
natural labours. One midwife and 

four monthly nurses have already re- 
ceived certificates, and it is hoped that 
niany more candidates will avail them- 
selves of the opportunity thus readily 
afforded to them, and supply a want 
very generally felt among the poor of 
the town. Subscribers have the privi- 
lege of bestowing the tickets, and the 
olHcesare at 71, Newhall Street. 



SHOWELl's dictionary of lilHMINGHAM. 



105 



Orthopccdic and Spinal Hospital — 
Was foundeil in Juue, 1817, ilie pre- 
sent establishiiieiit in Ne\vli;ill Street 
being entered npon in Dei'cnibfr, 1877. 
All kinds of bodily deformity, hernia, 
club feet, spinal diseases, nialfornia- 
tioDS, and distortions of limbs, &c., 
are treated daily (at two o'clo:k) free 
of charr;e, except wnere instruments or 
costly supports are needed, wbeu the 
patient must be provided with sub- 
scribers' tickets in jiroportion to the 
cost thereof. In 1881 and 1882, 4,116 
cases received attention, 2,064 being 
new cases, and 678 fiom outside Bir- 
mingham. The variety of diseases was 
very nunienais, and instruments to the 
value of £420 were supplied to the 
patients. 

Skin and Lock Hospital, Newhall 
Street, was founded in 1880, and 
opened Jan. 10, 1881. Admission on 
payment of registration fee, attend- 
ance being given at two o'clock on 
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and 
Thursday in each week. 

Small} ox Hospital. — A few years 
back, when there was a pretty general 
epidemic of smallpox, a temporary 
ward or addition was attached to the 
WDrkhouse, but many persons whose 
intelligence led them to know the 
value of isolation in such cases, could 
not " cotton " to the idea of going 
themselves or sending tlieir friends 
there. The buildings in Weston Road, 
Winson Green, and now known as the 
Borough Hospital, have no connection 
whatever with the Workhouse, and 
were opened for the reception of persons 
sutferiiig from smallpox and scarlet 
fever in Nov. 1874. The latter cases 
are now taken to the Hospital in Lodge 
Road, so that })resent accommodation 
can be found in the Borough Hospital 
for nearly 250 patients at a timeshoiiUl 
it ever be necessary to do so. Persons 
knowing of any case of smallpox sliould 
at once give notice to the officers of 
health at Council House. 

Hotels. — This French-derived name 
for inns, from what Hutton says on the 
subject, would appear to have been only 



introduced in his day, and even tlien 
was con lined to the large coaching- 
houses of the town, many of which 
have long since vanished. The first 
rkilway hotel was the Queen's, at the 
entrance of tlio old railway station, 
Duddeston Row, though originally built 
and used for ollicers for the company's 
secretaries, directors' boardroom, kc. As 
part of the New Street Station, a lar 
more pretentious establishment was 
erected, and to this was given the title 
of the "Queen's Hotel," the Duddes- 
ton Row building reverting to its ori- 
ginal U!-c. The Great Western Hotel 
was the next to be built, and the 
success attending these largo under- 
takings have led to the erection of the 
handsome Midland Hotel , opposite New 
Street Station, and tlie still grander 
'■Grand Hotel,"inCi)lmoieRo\v, dpened 
Feb. 1,1879. Theremoval oftlie County 
Court to C >rporation Street, and the 
possible future erecti'iu of Assize Courts 
near at hand, have induced some specu- 
lators to embark in the erection of y^t 
another extensive establishment, to be 
called the '" Inns of Court Hotel," and 
in line course of time we shall doubt- 
less have others of a similar cliaracter. 
At any of tiie above, a visitor to the 
town (with money in his purse) can 
find histclass accoininodation, and (in 
comparison with the London hotels 
of a like kind) at reasonably f a r 
rates. After these come a second 
grade, more suitable for commer- 
cial gentlemen, or families whose 
stay is longer, such as the new Stork 
Hotel, the Alliion, in Liveiy Street, 
Buliivant's, in Carr's Line, the Acorn, 
the Temperance at the Colonnade, and 
the Clarendon, in Tein[de Street, 
Dingley's, iu Moor Street, Knapp's, 
in Higli Street, Nock's, in Union 
Passage, the Plough and Harrow, 
in Hagley Road, the Swan, iu 
New Street, the White Horse, in 
Congreve {Street (opposite Walter 
Sliowell and Sons' liead ollices), the 
Woolpack, in Moor Street, and tne 
other Woolpack, now called St. 
Martin's, at the back of the church. 



106 



showp:lt;s dictionary of Birmingham. 



For imicli entertaining iiiforniation re- 
specting the old taverns of Binning- 
liani, the liotels of former days, we re- 
commend the reader to procure a copy 
of S. D. R.'s little book on the sub- 
ject, which is full of anecdotes respect- 
ing the frequenters of the then houses, 
as well as many quaint notes of the 
past. 

The Acorn in Temple Street. — The 
favourite resort of the "men of the 
time " a few score years ago. was at one 
period so little surrouiuled with houses 
that anyone standing at its door could 
view a landscajie stretching for miles, 
while listening to the song birds in 
the neighbouring gardens. It dates 
from about 1750, and numbers among 
its successive landlords, Mr. John 
Roderick, the first auctioneer of that 
well-known name, Mr. James Clements, 
and Mr. Coleman, all men of mark. 
The last-named liost, after making 
man}' improvements in tlie premises 
anil renewing the lease, disposed of the 
hotel to a L'.miteil Liability Company 
for £15,500. It is at [iresent one of 
the best-frequented commercial houses 
iti the town. 

The Hen and Chickmis.—ln Aris's 
Gazette, of December 14, 1741, there 
appeared an advertisement, that there 
was "to be let, in the High Street, 
Birmingham, a very good-accustomed 
Inn, the sign of the Hen and Chickens, 
with stables, &c." Inasmuch as this 
advertisement also said "there is a 
very good Bowling (ireen joining to 
it," it has been quoted by almost 
every writer of local history as an 
evidence of the jiopularity of those 
j)lices of recreation, or as showing 
the open aspect of the then existing 
town. Tilts estaV lishraent is believed 
to have been on the site ot ^Messrs. 
^lanton'.i cabinet warehouse, the ad- 
ioining Scotland Passage leading to 
the stables, and possibly to " the 
Bowling Green. " In 1798, the tenant, 
Mrs. Lloyd, removed to a new house 
in New Street, and took the Hen and 
Chickens' title with her, the i>lace be- 
coming famous as a posting-liQuse, and 



afterwards, under Mr. William Wad- 
dell, as one ot the most e.xtensive 
coaching establishments in the Mid- 
lands. A mere list only, of the Serene 
Highnesses, the Royalties, Nobility, 
and celebrated characters of all kinds, 
who have put up at this hotel, would 
fill pages, and those anxious lor such 
old-time gossifi, must refer to S. D. R.'s 
book, as before-mentioned. At the 
close of 1878, the jiremises were ac- 
quired by the '■Birmingham Aquarium 
Co., Limited," who proposed to erect a 
handsome concert-room, aquarium, 
restaurant, &c. The old building has 
been con siderably altered, and some- 
what improved in appearance, but the 
aquarium and concert-room are, as 
yet, non est, an Arcade being built in- 
stead. 

The Midland, New Street. — One of 
the modern style of hotels, having 
over a hundred good bedrooms, besides 
the necessary comi)leiueiit of public 
and private sitting and dining rooms, 
coffee, commercial, smoking and bil- 
liard rooni'^, &c., erected for Mr. W. 
J. Clements in 1874 ; it was sold early 
in 1876 to a Limited Company, whose 
capital was fixed at £40,000 in £10 
shares. 

The Royal, in Temple Row, was 
erected on tlie tontine principle in 
1772, but was not called more than 
" The Hotel" for a long time afterwards 
the word Roval being added in 1805, 
after His Royal Higliness the Duke of 
Gloucester slept there (May 4) on his 
way to Liverpool. In 1830 the 
Duchess ot Kent, and Princess Vic- 
toria (our present Queen) honoured it 
by their presence. In June, 1804, the 
Assembly Room (for very many years 
the most popular place for meetings of 
a social cliaiacter) was enlarged, the 
pro]irietors purchasing a small piece of 
adjoining laud for the purpose at a 
cost of "£250, being at the rate of 
£26,000 per acre, a noteworthy fact as 
showing the then rapidly increasing 
value of jtroperty in the town. The 
portico in front of the hotel was put 
therein 1837, when the building had 



SHOWRLLS DICTION ART OF BIRMINGHAM. 



107 



to be repaired, in coiisequonce of the 
kind attentions of the J^>irminglinm 
Lilierals at tlie tinn? of tlie general 
election then just passed. The wliole 
of the front ami main portion of the 
liotel is now used for the purposes of tlie 
Eye Hospital, the Assembh' Rooms, 
kc, heiiitrstill public. — Portugal House, 
in Xew Street, on the present site of 
the Colonnade, prior to its being taken 
for the Excise and Post Offices, was 
used for hotel purp'^ses, and was also 
called " The Roval." 

Th'- Slor/.:~The Directory of 1800 
is the first which contains the name of 
the Stork Tavern, No. 3. The Sipiare, 
tlie host then being Mr. Jtdm Bingham, 
the title of Hotel not being assumed 
until 1808. For a few years the one 
house was sufficient !or the accommo- 
dation required, but as time juogressed 
it liecanie necessary to enlarge it, and 
this was accomplished by taking in the 
adjoining houses, until, at last, the 
hotel occupied one fourth of The 
Square, from the corner of the Minories 
to the Lower Priory, in whicli were 
situated the stables, &:c. It was in 
one of the houses so annexed to tiie 
hotel (No. 1) that Dr. Hector, the 
friend ot Dr. Johnson, resided ; and at 
the rear of another part of tlie premises 
in the Coach Yard, there was opened 
(in 1833) the "The E<iuicah]e Labour 
Exchange." The whole of the hotel 
buildings were sold by auction, 
Sept. 26, 1881, au(i quickly razed to 
the ground, which was required for 
Corporation Street ; but the Stork, 
like the fabulous Phoenix, has risen 
from its ashes, and in (dose proximity 
to tlie old site, stands boldly forth as 
one of the magnificences of that-is-to- 
be most-magnificent thoroughfare. 

The Union, in Cherry Street, was 
built in 1790, but much enlarged in 
1825. It was one of the priiici})al 
coaching houses, but will be remem- 
bered mostly as furnishing tlie chief 
saleroom in the town for the disposal 
of landed property. The site being 
required for Corporation Street, the 
building was "knocked down " on the 
21st April, 1879. 



The IVoolpack, in Moor Street, saw 
many strange events, a'.id had in its 
olden diys nil lergone some few changes 
for there are not many sites in IJir- 
mingliam that can compare with this 
in regard to its recorded history, b'.it 
at last it is bieiiig cleareil to make way 
for a more modern structure. It is 
believed there was a tavern called the 
Green Tree here close upon 500 years 
ago, and even now there is still to 
be tracel the cjuinb of an ancient 
" dyche" running through the premises 
which was describ'-d as the boundary 
dividing certain properties in 1340, 
and forming part, of that belonging to 
the Guild of the Holy Cro^s. The 
house itselfwas the residence of William 
Leuch, whose bf(}ue-ls to the town are 
historical, but when it was turned into 
a tavern is a little uncertain, as tlie 
earliest notice of it as such is dated 
1709, when John Fnsor was the occu- 
pier. It was the house of resort for 
many Birmingham worthies, especially 
those connected with the law, even 
befoie the election of the Public Offi.'es, 
and it is said that Jolin Baskerville 
used to come here lor his tankard of 
ale and a gossip vith his neigh botirs. 
In the time of the Reform agitation it 
was frequented by the leaders of the 
Liberal pirty, and has always been tlie 
favourite shelter of artists visiting the 
town. 

The Wooliiacl; in St. Martin's Lane. 
— Some eighty oiVl years ago the tavern 
standing at the corner of Jamaica Ri)W 
and St. Martin's Lane was known as the 
Black Boy Inn, from the figure of a 
young negro then piaced over the door. 
Being purchased in 1817 by the occu- 
pier of a neighbouring tavern called the 
Woolpack, the two names were united, 
and for a time the house was called the 
" Black Boy and AV'oolpack," the iirst 
part being gradually allowed to fall 
into disuse. Prior to its demolition it 
was tJte noted market hostelry for cattle 
d'jaleis and others, the respected land- 
lord, Mr. John Gougli, who held the 
premises from 1848 till his death in 
1877, being himself a large wholesale 
dealer. When the Town Council de- 



lOS 



SUOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



jiJed to enlarge and cover in tlie 
Smitlitield Market", the old house and 
it3 adjuncts were purchased by thein, 
and a new hotel of almost palatial 
character has been erected in its place, 
the frontage extending nearly the en- 
tire leiigtli of St. JIartin's Line, and 
the Black Boy and the Woolpack must 
in fnture be called St. Martin's Hotel. 

Hothouses.— Those at Frogniore, 
comprising a raiig^ of nearly 1,000 feet 
of metallic forcing houses, were erected 
in 1S42-3, by .Mr. Thomas Clark, ot 
this town, his manager, Mr. John 
Jones, being described by the cele- 
brated Mr. Loudon, as " the best hot- 
house builder in Britain." 

House and Window Tax.— See 

" Taxes," 

Howard Street Institute.— 

Founded in 1869. The tirst annual 
meeting, for the distribution of prizes, 
was held in Dtceniber, 1872. The 
many sources for acquiring knowledge 
now provided at such institutions as 
the Midland Listitute, the Mason Col- 
lege, &c., have no doubt tended much 
to the end, but, considering the 
amount of good derived by the pupils 
from the many classes held in the 
Howard Street rooms, it is a pity the 
Institute should be allowed to drop. 

Humbug". — The Prince of Hum- 
bugs, Phineas Barnum, at the Town 
Hall, February 28, 1859, gave his 
views of whfit constituted " Humbug." 
As if the Brums didn't know. 

Humiliation Days. — Febniary 

25, 1807, was kept here as a day ol fast- 
ing and humiliation, as was also Sep- 
tember 25, 1S32. 

Hundred. — Birmingham is in the 
Hundred of Hemlingford. 

Hungary. — The first meeting in 
this town to e.xpress sympatliy with 
the Hungarians m their struggle with 
Austria, was held ' in the Corn Ex- 
change, May 23, 18'19, and several 
speakers were in favour of sending 
armed help, but no volunteers came 
forward. 



Hunter's Lane and Nursery Ter- 
race take their names from the fact 
that Mr. Hunter's nursery grounds 
and gardens were here situated. The 
" Line " was the old road to Wolver- 
hampton, but has a much older history 
than that, as it is believed to have 
been [)art of the Icknield Street. 

Hurricanes.- The late Mr. Thos. 
Plant, in describing the great storm, 
which visited England, on the night 
of Sunday, 6th January, 1839, and 
lasted all next day, said it was the 
most tremendous hurricane that had 
occurred here for fifty years. A large 
quantity of lead was stripped off tlie 
roof of the Town Hall, the driving 
force of the gale being so strong, that 
the lead was carried a distance of more 
than sixty yards before it fell into a 
warehouse, 'at the back of an ironmon- 
ger's shop in Ann Street. — See 
" Storms and Tempests." 

Hurst Street, from Hurst Hill, 
once a wootled mount (the same being 
the derivation of Ravenhurst Street), 
was originally but a passage way, 
leading under an arch at the side of 
the White Swan in Smallbrook Street 
(now Day's t stablishment). Up the 
paasage was a knacker's yard, a shop 
for the dyeing of felt hats, and a few 
cottages. 

lelcnield Street. — Britain was 

foimeriy traversed by four great roads, 
usually called Roman roads, though 
there are some grounds for believing 
that the Ancient Britons themselves 
were the pioneers in making these 
trackways, their conquerors only im- 
pioving the roads as was their wont, 
and erecting military stations along 
the line. 'L'hese roads were severally 
called " Watling Strjete," which ran 
from the coast of Kent, through Lou- 
don, to the Welsh coast in county 
Cardigan ; the " Fosse," leading from 
Cornwall to Lincoln; "Erniinge 
Stiicte," running from St. David's to 
Southampton; and "HikenildeStiiEte," 
leading through the centre of England, 
from St. David's to Tyiumouth. Part 
ol the latter road, known as Icknield 



SlIOWELLS UIOTIONARY OF lUllMIN'GHAM. 



109 



Street, is now our Moiuinunt Lane, 
and ill 18G5 a poilion of aDcieiit road 
was uncovered near Chad Valley House, 
vvliieli is believed to have been also 
jiart thereof. Trooeediiig in almost a 
direct line to the bottom of Hockley 
Hill, the Icknield Street ran across 
Handsworth Parish, by way of the 
jiresent Hunter's Lane, but little fur- 
ther trace can be found now until it 
touches Sutton Coldtield Pa>k, throujili 
which it passes for nearly a mile-and- 
a half at an almost uniform width of 
about 60 feet. It is left for our future 
local antiquarians to institute a search 
along the track in the Park, but as in 
scores of other spots Koniau and 
British remains have been found, it 
seems probable than au ellbrt ot the 
kind suggested would meet its reward, 
and perhaps lead to the discovery of 
some valuable relics of our long-gone 
predecessors. 

Illuminations.— When the news 
of Admiral Rodney's victory was re- 
ceived here, May 20, 1792, it was 
welcomed by a general illumination, 
as were almost all the great victorie- 
during the long war. The Peace of 
Amiens in 1802 was also celebrated in 
this way, and the event has become 
historical from the fact that for the 
first time in the world's histciy the 
inflammable gas obtained from coal 
(now one of the commonest necessities 
of our advanced civilisation) was used 
for the purpose of a j)ublic illumination 
at Soho "Works. (See " Gas") lu 1813 
the town went into shining fcstacies 
four or five times, and ditto in the 
following year, the chief events giving 
rise thereto being the entry of the 
Allies into Paris, and the declaration 
of peace, the latter being celebrated (in 
addition to two nights' lighting up 
of the ]irincipal buildings, &c. ), by 
an extra grand show of thousands of 
lam|)s at Soho, with the accompani- 
ment of fireworks and fire-balloons, the 
roasting of sheep and oxen, &c. Water- 
loo was the next occasion, but local 
chroniclers of the news of the day gave 
but scant note thereof. From time to 



time there have been illuminations for 
several more peaceal)lc matters of re- 
joicing, but the grandest display that 
l)irniingliam has ever witnessed was 
that to celebrate the nnirriage of the 
I'rince of Wales, JIarch lOih, 1863, 
when St. Philip's Church was illum- 
inated on a scale so colossal as to exceed 
anything of the kind that had ])re- 
viously been attemjjted in the illum- 
ination by gas ot public buildings ujion 
their 3rchitectural lines. Situated in 
the centre, and upon the most elevated 
ground in iSirmingham, 8t Pliilip's 
measures upwards of 170-ft. from the 
base to the summit of the cross. The 
design for the illumination — furnished 
by Mr. Peter Hollins — consisted of 
gas-tubing, running jiarallel to the 
principal lines of architecture from the 
base to the summit, pierced at dis- 
tances of 3 in. or 5 in., and fitted with 
bat swing burners. About 10,000 of 
these burners were used in the illum- 
ination. The service-pipes employed 
varied in diameter from three inches to 
three-quarters of an inch, and 
measured, in a straight line, about 
three-(iuarteis of a mile, being united 
by more than two thousand sockets. 
Separate mains conducted the gas to 
the western elevation, the tower, the 
dome, the cupola, and cross ; the latter 
standing 8ft. above the oidinary cross 
of the church, and being ijiclosed in a 
frame of ruby-colouied glass. These 
mains were connect, d with a ten-inch 
main from a heavil\ -weighed gas- 
ometer at the Windsor Street works of 
the Birmingham Gas Company, which 
was reserved for tlie sole use of the il- 
lumination. It took forty men three 
days to put up the scallolding, but the 
whole work was finished and the 
scaffolding removed in a week. It was 
estimated that the consumption of gas 
during the period of illumination 
reached very nearly three-quarters of 
a million of cubic feet ; and the 
entire expense of the illumination, 
including the gas - fittings, was 
somewhat over six hundred pounds. 
The illumination was seen for miles 



no 



SIIOWBLL's DICTIONAKY of BIRMINGHAM. 



round ii) every direction. From the 
top of Ban- Beacon, about eight miles 
distant, a singular effect was produced 
hy meansof aiogcloud which 'hung over 
the town, and concealed the dome and 
tower from view — a blood-red cross 
appearing to sliine in the heavens and 
rest upon Birmingham. As the travel- 
ler approached the town on that side 
the opacity of the fog gradually di- 
minished until, when about three miles 
away, the broad lines of light which 
spanned the dome appeared in sight, 
and, magnitied by the thin vapour 
through which they were refracted, 
gave the idea of some gigantic monster 
clawing the heavens with his fiery 
paws. All the avenues to the church 
and the surrounding streets were 
crowded with nuxsses of human heads, 
in the midst of which stood aglittiring 
fairy palace. The etl'ectwas heightened 
by coloured tires, which, under the 
superintendence of Mr. C. L. Hanmer, 
were introduced at intervals in burning 
censers, wreatiiing their clouds of in- 
cense among the urns upon the parapet 
in the gallery of the tower, and shed- 
ding upon the windows of the chuich 
the rich tints of a peaceful southern 
sky at sunset. The several gateways 
were wreathed in evergreens, amongst 
which nestled festoons of variegated 
lamps. So great was the sensation 
[)roduced throughout the town and 
surrouiuiiiig districts, and such the 
disappointment ot those who had not 
seen ir, that the committee, at a great 
expanse, consented to reillumine for 
one night more, which was done on 
the 13th. The last general illumination 
was on the occasion of the visit of 
Prince and Princess of Wales, Nov. 3, 
1874. 

Imppovement Schemes. —See 

" Town Imiiruvcincnts." 

Income Tax— Tliis impost was 

first levied in 1798, when those who 
had four children were allowed an 
abatement of 10 percent. ; eight chil- 
dren, 15 vier cent. ; ten or more 20 per 
cent. At the close of the Peninsular 



cani[)aign this tax was done away with, 
it being looked upon, even in tliose 
heavily betaxed times, as about the 
most oppre.-sive duty ever imposed by 
an arbiiraiy Government on loyal and 
willing citizens. When the tax was 
revived, in 1842, there was a con- 
siderable outcry, though if fairly levi. d 
it would set-m to be about the most 
just and equitable mode of raising 
revenue that can be devised, nothwith- 
standing its somewhat inquisitorial 
accompaniments. The Act was only 
for three years but it was triennially 
renewed until 1851, since when it has 
become " a yearly tenant," though at 
varying rates, the tax being as high as 
Is. 4d. in tile pound in 1855, and only 
2d. in 1874. A Parlianientarj' return 
issued in 18(36 gave the assessment of 
Birmingiiain to the Income Tax at 
£1,394,161; in 1874 it was estimated 
at £1,792,700. The present assess- 
ment is considerably over the two 
millions, but the peculiar leticeuce 
generally connected with all Govern- 
mental offices prevents us giving the 
exact figures. 

Indian Famine. — The total 

amount subscribed here towards the 
fund for the relief of suthirers by famine 
in India in 1877 was £7,922 13s. 2d. 

India-rubbep, in 1770, was sold 

at 3s. per cuiuc half-inch, and was 
only used to remove pencil marks from 
paper. Its present uses are manifold, 
and varied m the extreme, from the 
toy balloon of the infant to railway 
buffers and uiisinkable lifeboats. 

Inflrmaries.— See " Ho.fpUals," 

&c. 

Inge. — -The family name of one of 
the large projierty owners of this town, 
after whom Inge Street is so called. 
The last representative of the family 
lived to tlie rif)e old age of 81, dying 
in August, 1881. Tliongh very little 
known in the town from vvlieuce a large 
portion of his income was drawn, tlie 
Rev. George Inge, rector of Thorpe 
(Stallbrdshire), was in his way a man 
of mark, a mighty Niinrod, wholol-; 



SUOWELLS DlCTIONAKir OF HIUJUNGllAM. 



Ill 



lowed the hounds t'luiii the early aj,'e cf 
live, when lie was carried on a pony in 
IVont of a gruoin. until a few weeks 
prior to his death, havinj; iiuntedwiih 
tlie Atherstone packduring thenianage- 
uient of sixteen suceeasive masters 
thereof. 

Insane Asylums.— See " Lun- 

acij." 

Insupanee.— Ill 17S2 a duty of 

Is. 6d. ptr cent, was levied on all fire 
insurances, wiiich wa.s riised to 2s. iu 
1797, to 2s. ea. iu 1804, and to 3s. iu 
1815, remaining at that until 1865, 
when it was lowered to Is. 6d., being 
removed altogether in 1869. Farming 
stock was exempted ill 1833, and 
workmen's tools in 1860. 

Insurance Companies. —Their 

name is legion, thuiv agents are a mul- 
titude, and a l;>t of their otiicers would 
till a book. You can insure your own 
life, or your wife's, or your children's 
or anybody else's, in whose existence 
you may have a beneticial interest, and 
there are a hundred othcers ready to 
receive the premiums. If you are 
journeying, the Kdilway Passengers' 
Accident Co. will be glad to guarantee 
your family a solatium iu case you and 
your traiucometogriet.and though itis 
not more than onein half-a-million that 
meets with an accident on the line, the 
penny for a ticket, when at the booking 
office, will be well expended. Do you 
employ clerks, tr.ere are several Gua- 
rantee Societies who will secure you 
against loss by defalcation. Shop- 
keepers and otiieis will do well to in- 
sure their glass against breakage, and 
all and everyone should pay into a 
" General Accident " Association, for 
broken limbs, like Iruken glass, can- 
not be foreseen or p)revented. It is 
not likely that any of us will be 
"drawn" for a militiamaa iu these 
piping limes of peace, but that the 
system of iusurauce was applied here in 
the last century against the chances of 
being drawn in tiie ballot, is evidenced 
by the following carelully-preserved 
and curious receipt : — 



" Hcceiveil of JIatthew Boiiltoii, tagiiiaker, 
Snow Hill, Ihiee sliilliiigs and sixpence, for 
wliicli snia I .solennily engage, if he .sliould 
ln' chosen l)y hit to serve in the militia fur 
this jiarish, at the liist meeting foi- that pur- 
pose, to procure a substitute that shall Im." 
approved of. 

" Hk.nky Brookes, Sergt. 

" Binunigliani, Jan. 11, 1702.'' 

Tlie local manufacture of Insurance 
Societies has not been on a large scale, 
almost the only ones being the " Bir- 
mingham NVoikman's Mutual," the 
" P.ntish Workman," and the 
" Wesleyau and General." The 
late Act of I'arliament, by which 
in certain c^ses, employers are pe- 
cuniarily liable for accidents to 
their work people, has brought into 
existence several new Associations, 
prominent among which is the com- 
prehensive '■ Employers' Liability and 
Workpeople's Provident and Accident 
Insurance Society, Limited," whoso 
offices are at 33, Iscwhall Street. 

Interesting Odds and Ends. 

A fair was held lieie on Good Fridav, 
1793. 

A fight of lion with dogs took placu 
at Warwick, September 4, 1S24. 

The Orsini iiomlis used in Paris, 
January 15, 1858, were made here. 

In 1771 meetings of the inhabitauts 
were called by the tolling of a bell. 

A larye a.-sembly of Radicals visited 
Christ Church, November 21, 1819, but 
not for prayer. 

A " flying railway" (the Centrifugal) 
was exhibited at tiie Circus iu Bradford 
Street, October 31, 1842. 

The doors of Sloor Street prisou were 
thrown open, September 3, 1842, there 
not being then one person in confine- 
ment. 

JMaich 2, 1877, a bull got loose in 
New Street Station, and ran througn 
tiie tunnel to Banbury Street, where 
he leaped over the parapet and was made 
into beef. 

William Godfrey, who died iu Riis- 
ton-street, October 27, 1863, was a 
native of this town, who, enlisting at 
eiguteeu, wjs sent out to China, 



112 



SCIOWELl's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



where lie accumulated a fortune of 
more than £1,000,000. So said the 
hinaiiuihavi Journal, November 7, 
1863. 

The De Bermiiighams had no blan- 
kits before the fourteenth century, 
when they were brought from Bristol. 
None but the very rich wore stockings 
jnior to the year 1589, and many of 
them had their legs covered with bands 
of cloth. 

A i)etition was presented to the 
Prince of Wales (June 26, 1791) 
asking his patronage and support foi 
the starving buckle-makers of Bir- 
mingham. He ordered his suite to 
wear buckles on their shoes, but 
tlie laces soon whipped them out of 
market. 

One Friday evening in July, 1750, 
a woman who had laid informations 
against 150 jtersons she had caught re- 
tailing spirituous liijuors without 
licenses, was seized by a mob, who 
doused, ducked and daubed her, and 
then shoved her in the Dungeon. 

At a parish meeting, May 17, 1726, 
it was decided to put up an organ in 
St. Martin's at a cost of £300 "and 
upwaids." At a general meeting of 
the inhabitants, April 3, 1727, it was 
ordered that a bell be cast for St. 
Philip's, " to be done with all expedi- 
tion." 

In 17S9 it was jjroposed that the in- 
mates of the woiklouse should be em- 
])loyed at making worsted and thread. 
Our fathers often tried their inventive 
faculties in the way of finding work for 
the inmates. A few years later it was 
proposed (August 26) to lighten the 
rates by erecting a steam mill for 
grinding corn. 

On the retirement of Mr. William 
Lucy, in 1850, from the Mayoralty, 
the iis\ial vote of thanks was passed, 
but with one dissentient. Mi. Henry 
Hawkes was chosen coroner July 6, 
1875, by forty votes to one. The great 
improvement scheme was adopted by 
the Town Council (November 10, 
1875), with but one dissentient. 



A certificate, dated March 23, 1683. 
and signed by the minister and church- 
wardens, was granted to Elizabeth, 
daughter of Johu and Ann Dickens, 
"in order to obtain his majesty's 
touch for the Evil." The "royal 
touch " was administered to 200 per- 
sons from this neighbourhood, March 
17, 1714 ; Samuel Johnson (the Dr.) 
being one of those wliose ailments, it 
was believed, could be thus easily re- 
moved. Professor HoUovvay did not 
live in those days. 

Sir Thomas Holte (the first baronet) 
is traditionally reported to have slain 
his cook. He brought an action for 
libel against one William Ascrick, for 
saying "that he did strike his cook 
with a cleaver, so that one moiety of 
the head fell on one shoulder, and the 
other on the other shoulder." The 
defendant was ordered to pay £30 
damages, but appealed, and success- 
fully ; the worthy lawyers of that day 
deciding that though Sir Thomas 
might have clove the cook's head, the 
defendant did not say he had killed 
the man, and heuce had not libelled 
the baronet. 



IntePpPetePS. — In commercial 
circles it sometimes happens that the 
foreign corresponding clerk may be 
out of the way when an important 
business letter arrives, and we, there- 
fore, give the addresses of a few gentle- 
men linguists, viz. : — Mr. H. R. 
Forrest, 46, Peel Buildings, Lower 
Temple Street ; Mr. L. Hewson, 30, 
Paradise Street ; Mr. F. Julien, 189, 
Monument Road; Mr. Wm. Krisch, 
3. Newhall Street ; Mr. L. Notelle, 42, 
George Road, Edgbaston ; and Mr. A. 
Vincent, 49, Islington Row. 

Invasion. — They said the French 
were coming in February, 1758, so the 
patriotic Brums put their hands into 
their pockets and contributed to a fund 
" to repel invasion." 

Inventops and Inventions.— 

Birmingham, for a hundred years, led 
the van in inventions of all kinds, and 



SHOWELL 3 DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



113 



though to many persons patent specifi- 
cations may be the driest of all dry 
reading, there is an infinitude of 
interesting matter to be found in those 
documents. Much of the trade his- 
tory of tlie town is closely connected 
with the inventions of the patentees of 
last century, including sucdi men as 
Lewis Paul, who first introduced 
spinning bj' rollers, and a machine 
for the carding of wool and 
cotton ; Baskerville, tlie japmner ; 
Wyatt, partner with Paul ; lloulton, of 
Soho, and his coadjutors. Watt, Mur- 
doch, Small, Keir, Alston, and others. 
Nothing has been too ponderous and 
naught too trivial for the exercise of 
the inventive faculties of our skilled 
workmen. All the world knows 
that hundreds of patents have been 
taken out for improvements, and dis- 
coveries in connection witii steam ma- 
chinery, but few would credit that quite 
an equal number relate to such trifling 
articles as buckie-i and buttons, pins 
and pens, hooks and eyes, &c. ; and 
fortunes have been made even more read- 
ily b\' the manufacture of the small 
items than the larger ones. Tiie history 
of Birmingham inventors has yet to be 
written ; a few notes ot some of their 
doings will be found under " Patents " 
and " I'rades." 

IPOn.— In 1354 it was forbidden to 
e.^port iron from England. In 1567 it 
was brought here from Sweden and 
Russia. A patent for snieltini; iron 
with pit coal was granted in 1620 to 
Dud Dudley, who also patented the 
tinning of iron in 1661. Tlie total 
make of iron in England in 1740 was 
but 17,000 tons, from 59 furnaces, only 
two of which were in Staffordshire, 
turning out about 1,000 tons per year. 
In 17S8 there were nine blast furnaces 
in the same county ; in 17'-^6, fourteen ; 
in 1806, forty-two ; in 1827, ninety- 
five, with an output of 216,000 tons, 
the kingdom's make being 690,000 tons 
from 284 furnaces. This quantity in 
1842 was turned out of the 130 Staf- 
fordshire furnaces alone, though the 
hot-air blast was not used prior to 1835. 



Some figures have lately been published 
showing that the present product of 
iron in the world is close upon 19^ mil- 
lion tons per year, and as iron and its 
working-up has a little to do with the 
prosperity of Birmingham, we preserve 
them. Statistics for the more impor- 
tant countries are obtainable as late as 
1881. For the others it is assumed 
that the yield has not fallen off since 
the latest figures reported. Under 
"other countries," in the table below, 
are included Canada, Switzerland, and 
Mexico, each producing about 7,500 
tons a year, and Norway, with 4,000 
tons a year : — 

Year. Gross Tons. 

Great Britain issi 8,377,364 

United States ISSl 4,144,254 

Gei many ISSl 2,863,400 

France ISSl 1,866,438 

Belgium ISSl 622,288 

Austro-Hungary 1880 448,685 

Sweden ISSO 399,628 

Luxembourg ISSl 289,212 

Russia 1881 231,341 

Italy 1876 76,000 

Spain 1S73 73,000 

Turkey — 40,000 

Jaiian 1S77 10,000 

Ail other countries . . — 46,000 

Total i9, 487,610 

The first four countries produce 88 "4 
per cent, of t!ie world's iron supply ; 
the first two, 64 '3 per cent. ; the first, 
43 iier cent The chief consumer is 
the United States, 29 per cent. ; 
next Great Britain, 23 '4 per cent. ; 
the.se two using more than half of 
all. Cast iron wares do not appear 
to have been made here in any quan- 
tity before 1755 ; malleable iron cast- 
ings being introduced about 1811. The 
first iron canal boat made its appear- 
ance here July 24, 1787. Iron pots 
were first tinned in 1779 by Jonathan 
Taylor's patented process, but we have 
no date when vessels of iron were first 
enamelled, though a French method 
of coating them with glass was intro- 
duced in 1850 by Messrs. T. G. Grif- 
fiths and Co. In 1809, Mr. Benjamin 
Cook, a well-known local inventor, 
proposed to use iron for build- 
ing purposes, more particularly in 



114 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



the shape of joists, rafters, and 
beams, so as to make fire-proof rooms, 
wails, and flooring, as well as iron 
staircases. This suggestion was a long 
time before it was adopted, for in many 
things Cook was far in advance of his 
age. Corrugated iron for roofing, &c , 
came into use in 1832, but it was not 
till the period of the Australian gold 
fever — 1S52-4 — that there was any 
great call for iron houses. The first 
iron church (made at Smethwick) as 
well as iron barracks for the mounted 
jiolice, were sent out there, the price at 
Melbourne for iron houses being from 
£70 each. — See " 'Jrades." 

Iron Bedsteads are said to have 
been invented by Dr. Church. Me- 
tallic bedsteads of many different kinds 
have been made since then, from the 
simple iron stretcher to the elaborately 
guilded couches made for princes and 
potentate.'-, but the latest novelty in 
this line is a bedstead of solid silver, 
lately ordered for one of the Indian 
Rajahs. 

Iron Rods. — Among the immense 
number of semi-religious tracts pub- 
lished during the Civil War, one ap- 
peared (in 1642) entitled " An Iron 
Rod for the Naylours and Tradesmen 
near Birmingham," by a self-styled 
prophet, who exhorted his neighbours 
to amend their lives and give better 
prices "twopence in the shilling at 
the least to poor workmen." We 
fancy the poor nailers of the present 
time would also be glad of an extra 
twopence. 

Jacks. — Roasting Jacks of some 
kind or other were doubtless used by our 
great-great-giandniothers, but their 
kitchen grates were not supplied with 
" bottle-jacks" till their fellow-towns- 
man, Mr. Fellowes, of Gieat Hamp- 
ton Street, made them in 1796. 

JennenS. — It is almost certain that 
the "Great Jennens (or Jennings) 
Case," has taken up more time in our 
law courts than any other cause 
brought before the judges. Charles 
Dickens is suppo.'jed to have had some 



little knowledge of it, and to have 
modelled his " Jarndyce v. Jarndyce" 
in " Bleak House " therefrom. It has a 
local interest, inasmuch as several 
members of the family lived, pros- 
pered, and died here, and, in addition, 
a fair proportion of the property so 
long disputed, is heie situated. The 
first of the name we hear of as re- 
siding in Birmingham was William 
Jennens, who died in 16C2. His .son 
John became a well-to-i!o ironmonger, 
dying in 1653. One of John's son.-, 
Humphrey, also waxed rich, and be- 
came possessed of considerable estate, 
having at one time, it is said, no less a 
personage than Lord Conway as "game- 
keeper " over a portion of his Warwick- 
shire properly Probably the meaning 
was that his lordship rented the shoot- 
ing. Ultimately,although every brancii 
of the family were tolerably^ prolific, 
the bulk of the garnered wealth was 
concentrated in the hands of William 
Jennings, bachelor, who died at Acton 
Place in 1798, at the age of 98, though 
some have said he was 103. His 
landed property was calculated to be 
worth £650.000 ; in Stock and Shares 
he held £270,000 ; at his bankers, in 
cash and dividends due, there were 
£247,000 ; while at his seveial houses, 
after his death, they found close upon 
£20,000 in bank notes, and more than 
that in gold. Dying intestate, his 
property was administered to by Lady 
Andover, and William Lj-gon, Esq., 
who claimed to be next of kin descen- 
ded irom Humphrey Jennings, of this 
town. Greatest part of the properly 
was claimed by these branches, and 
several noble families were enriched 
who, it is said, weie never entitled to 
anvthing. The Cuizun family came 
in tor a share, and hence the connic- 
ticn of Earl Howe and others with this 
town. The collaterals and their des- 
cendants have, for generations, been 
fighting for shares, alleging all kinds 
of fraud and malfeasance on the part 
of the pre.sent holders and their pre- 
decessors, but the claimants have 
increased and multiplied to such 



SnOWELLS DICTIONARY OF niRMINGFIAM. 



115 



aa exlenV., that if it were possible 
for them to recover the whole of 
the twelve million poumls they say the 
property is now worth, it would, when 
divided, give but small fortiines to any 
of ihem. A meeting; of the little army 
ofolaimints was held at the Temper- 
ance Hall, March 2, 1875, and there 
ha^^ been several attempts, notwith- 
standing the many previous adverse 
decisions, to re open the battle for the 
pelf, no less than a quqrt.,r of a 
million, it is believed, having already 
been uselessly spent in that way. 

Jennen"S Row is named after the 
above family. 

Jewellery. — See " Trades." 
Jews. — The ilescendants of Israel 
were allowel to reside in this country 
in 1079, but if we are to believe history 
their lot could not have beeti a very 
pleasant one, the poorer classes of our 
countrymen looking upon them with 
aversion, while the knights and squires 
of high degree, though willing enough 
to use them when requiring loans for 
their fierce forays, were equally ready 
to plunder and oppress oti the slightest 
chance. Still England mn>t have even 
then been a kind of sheltering haven, 
for in 1287, when a sudden anti- 
Semitic panic occurred to drive the 
Jews out of the kingilom, it was esti- 
mated that 15 660 had to cross the 
silver streak. Nominally, they were 
not allowed to return until Cromwell's 
time, 364 years a^'ier. It was in 1723 
.lews were permitted to hold lands in 
this country, and thirty years after an 
Act was parsed to naturalise them, but 
it was repealed in the following year. 
Now the Jews are entitled to every 
right and privilege that a Christian 
possesses. It is not possible to say 
when the Jewish community of this 
town originated, but it must have 
been considerably more than a hundred 
and fifty years ago, as when Hntton 
wrote in 1781, there was a synagogue 
in the P'roggery, " a very questionable 
part of the town," and an infamous 
locality. He quaintly snys : — " We 
have also among us a remnant of Israel, 



a people who, when misters of their 
own country, were scarcely ever known 
to travel, and who are now seldom em- 
ployed in anything else. But though 
they are ever moving they are ever at 
home ; who i>nce lived the favourites 
of lieaven, and fed tipon the cream of 
the earth, but now are little regarded 
by either ; whose society is entirely 
confined to themselves, except in tlie 
commercial line. In the synagogue, 
situated in the Froggery, they still 
preserve the faint resemblance of the 
ancient worship, their whole apparatus 
being no more than the drooping 
ensiijns of poverty. The place is 
rather small, but tolerably tilled; where 
there appears less decorum than in the 
Christian churches. The proverbial 
expression, ' as rich as a Jew,' is not 
altogether verified in Birmingham ; 
but, perhaps, tim^ is transterring it to 
the Quakers. It is rather singular that 
the lionesty of a Jew is sehiom ])leaded 
but by the Jew himself." No modern 
historian would think of usiugsuch lan- 
guage now-a-days, respecting the Jews 
who now abide with us, whose charitable 
contributions to ourpublic institutions, 
&c. , may bear comparison with those 
of their Christian brethren. An in- 
stance of this was given so far back as 
December 5th, 1805, the day of general 
thanksgiving for the glorious victory 
of Trafalgar. On thai day collections 
were made in all places of worship in 
aid of the patriotic fund for the relief 
of those wounded, and of tlie relatives 
of those killed in the war. It is worthy 
of remark tiiat the parish church, St. 
^lariin's, then raised the sum ot £-37 
7s., and the "Jews' Synagogue" £3 
3s. At the yearly collections in aid of 
the medical charities, now annually 
held on Hospital Sunday, St. Martin's 
gives between three and four hnndred 
pounds ; the Jewish congregation con- 
tri>iutes about one huiuired and fifty. 
If, then, the church liasthut? increased 
ten-fold in wealth and benevolence in 
the last seventy years, the synagogue 
has increased fifty-fold. 

Jews' Board of Guardians.— 



116 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM, 



A committee of resident Jews was ap- 
pointed in 1869, to look after and 
relieve poor and destitute families 
among tlie Israelites ; and though they 
pay their dire quota to the poor rates of 
their parish, it is much to the credit of 
the Jewish community that no poor 
member is permitted to go to the 
Workhouse or want for food and cloth- 
ing. The yearly amount exjiended in 
relief by this Hebrew Board of Guar- 
dians is more than £500, mostly given 
in cash in conmaratively large sums, 
so as to enable the recipients to become 
self-supporting, rather than continue 
them as paupers raceiving a small 
weekly dole. There is an increase in 
the number of poor latterly, owing to 
the depression of trade and to the 
influx of poor families from Poland 
during the last few years. Another 
cause of poverty among the Jews is the 
paucity of artisans among them, very 
lew of them even at the jiresent time 
choosing to follow any of the staple 
trades outside those connected with 
clothing and jewellery. 

Jewish Persecutions in Russia. 

— On Feb. 6, 1882, a town's meeting 
was called with reference to the gross 
persecution of the Jews in Russia, and 
the collection of a fund towards assist- 
ing the sufferers was set afoot, £1,800 
being promised at the meeting. 

John a' Dean's Hole.— A Hi tie 

brook whicii touk the water from the 
moat round the old Manor House 
(site of Smithfield) was thus called, 
from a man named John Dean being 
drowned tliere about Henry VIII. 's 
time. This brook emptied into the 
river Rea, near the bottom of Flood- 
gate Street, where a hundred and odd 
years back, there were two poolholes, 
with a very narrow causeway between 
them, which was especially dangerous 
at flood times to chance wayfarers who 
chose the path as a near cut to their 
dwellings, several cases of drowning 
being on record as occurring at this 
spot. — See "Manor House." 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel. — Dr. 



Johnson's connection with Birmingham 
has always been a pleasant matter of 
interest to the local literati, but to 
the general public we fear it matters 
naught. His visit to his good frienil 
Dr. Hector in 1733 is historically 
famous ; his translations and writings 
while here have been often noted ; his 
marriage with tiie widow Porter duly 
chronicled ; but it is due to the I'e- 
searches of the learned Dr. Langford 
that attention has been lately drawn to 
the interesting fact that Johnson, who 
was born in 1709, actually came to 
Birmingham in Ids tenth year, on a 
visit to his uncle Harri^son, who in 
after j'ears, in his usual plain-speaking 
style, Johnson described as " a very 
mean and vulgar man, drunk every 
night, but drunk with little drink, 
verv peevish, very proud, very osten- 
tatious, but, luckily, not rich. " Tliat 
our local governors have a due appre- 
ciation of tlie genius of the famed lexi- 
cographer is shoan by the fact of a 
passage-way from Bull Street to the 
Upper Piiory being named " Dr. 
Samuel Johnson's Passage !" 

Jubilees. — strange as it may ap- 
pear to the men of the present day, 
tiieie has never been a National holidiiy 
yet kept equal to that known as the 
Jubilee Day of George tlie Tiiird. Why 
it should have been so seems a greiit 
puzzle now. The celelaation began in 
this town at midiiigiit of the 24th 
October, 1809, by the ringers ot St. 
Philip's giving "five times fifty claps, 
an interim witii the same number id' 
rounds, to honour the King, Queen, 
the Royal Family, the Nation, and the 
loyal town of Birmingham." At six 
o'clock next morning tlie sluggards 
were aroused with a second peal, and 
with little rest the bells were kept 
swinging the whole day long, the finale 
coming with a performance of "per- 
petual claps and clashings " that must 
have made many a head ache. There 
was a Sunday school julnlee eelebrated 
September 14, 1831. The fiftieth year's 
pastorate of Rev. John Angell James 
was kept September 12, 1855, and the 



SIIOWELLa DICTIJXARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



117 



Jubilee Day of tlie Cliapel in Can's 
Lane, September 27, 1870 ; of Cauuou 
Street Chapel, Jul}- 16, 1856 ; of the 
Rev. G. Cheatle's pastorate, at Lom- 
bard Street Cliapel, January 11, 1860 ; 
of the ilissiouary Society, September 
15, 186-4 ; of Pope Pius the Ninth, in 
1877, when the Roman Catholicii of 
tnis town sent Jiim £1,230, beinj^ the 
third largest contribution from Eng- 
land. 

Jubilee Singers.— This troupe of 

coloured minstrels gave their first 
entertainment here in the Town Hall 
April 9, 1874. 

Jury Lists. — According to the Jury 
Act, 6 George lY., the churchwardens 
and overs ers of every parish in Eng- 
land are recj^uired to make out an alpha- 
betical list b'ifore the 1st September in 
each year of all men residing in their 
respective parishes and townships 
qualified to se''ve on juries, setting 
forth at length their Christian and sur- 
name, kc. Copies of these lists, on 
the three first Sundays in September, 
are to be li.\;ed on the principal door ot 
every church, chapel, antl other public 
place of religious worship, with a notice 
subjoined that all appeals will be heard 
at the Petty Sessions, to be held within 
the last day of September. The jury 
list for persons resident in the borough, 
and for several adjoining pirislies, m;iy 
be se n at the ofiice of Mr Alfred 
Walter, solicitor, Colmore Row, so that 
persons exempt may see if their names 
are included. 

Justices of the Peace.— The ear- 
liest named loi-al Justices of the Peace 
(March 8, 1327) are " William of 
Biimingham " and " John Murdak " 
the only two then named for the 
county. — See " Mtigistrales." 

Kidneys (Petpified),— In olden 

days our lootpatlis, where paved at all, 
were, as a rule, laid with lound, hard 
pebbles, and many readers will be sur- 
prised to learn that five years ago there 
still remained 50,000 suuare yanis of 
the said temper-trying paving waiting 
to be chaiigei into more modern bricks 



or stone. Little, however, as we may 
think of them, the time has been wheu 
the natives were rather proud than 
otherwise of their pebbly paths, for, 
according to Bisset, when one returned 
from visiting the metropolis, he said 
he liked everything in Ijondon very 
much " except the pavement, f*r the 
stones were ail so smooth, there was no 
foothold I " 

King Edward's Place. —Laid out 

in 1782 on a 99 years' lease, from Gram- 
mar School, at aground reut of £23, 
there being built 31 houses, and two 
in Broad Street. 

King's Heatll.— A little over three 
miles on llie Aleester Road, in the 
Parish of King's Norton, anoutskirt of 
Mosele}', and a suburb of Biriniiigham; 
has added a thousand to its popuiatiou 
in the ten years from census 1871 to 
1881, and promises to more than 
doubie it in the next decennial period. 
Tlie King's Heath and Moseley Insti- 
tute, built in 1878, at the cost of Mr. 
J. H. Nettlefoid, provides the residents 
with a commodious hall, library, and 
news-room. There is a station here 
on the Midland line, and the altera- 
tions now in the course of l)eing made 
on that railway must re.sult in a con- 
siderable addition to tiie traffic and 
the usefulness of the station, as a local 
depot for coal, kc. 

King's Norton. -Mentioned iu 
Domesday, and in the olden times was 
evidently thought of equal standing (to 
say tlie least) with its live-milea-neigh- 
bour, Biiiningliam, as in James the 
First's reign there was a weekly market 
(Saturdays) and ten faiis in the twelve- 
months. The market the inhabitants 
now attend is to be found in this town, 
and the half-score of fairs lias degene- 
rated to what is known as "King's Nor- 
ton Mop" or October statute lair, for the 
hiring of servants ami labourers, wheu 
the Lord of ^Misrule holds sway, the 
more's the i>ity. The King's Norton 
Union comprises part of the borough 
of Birmingham (Edgbaston), as well as 
Balsall Heath, Harborue, 2Ioseley, 



118 



SHOWELL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Nortlitield, Selly Oak, kc, and part 
of it bills fair to become a uianufaiUur- 
iiig district of some extent, as there 
are already paner mills, rolling' mills, 
screw works, &c. , and the Smethwiek 
meu are rapidly advaiicini,' in its direc- 
tion — the Jlidlaiul Jmictiou with the 
West Suburban line being also in the 
parish. The fortified mansion, known 
as Hawkesley House, in this parish, 
was the scene of a contest in May, 
1645. between King Charles' forces and 
the Parliamentarians, who held it, the 
result being its capture, pillage, and 
destruction by lire. 

KiPby'S Pools. — A well-known 
and favourite resort on the outskirt of 
the borough, on the Bristol Road, ami 
formerly one of the celebrated taverns 
and tea gardens of past days. The luib- 
lichouse (the " Malt Shovel ") having 
been extended and partially rebuilt, 
and tlie grounds better laid out, the 
establishment was re-christened, and 
opened as the Bonrnbrook Hotel, at 
Wliitsuntide, 1877. 

Kossuth. — Louis Kossuth, the ex- 
dictator of Hungary, was lionoured 
with a })ublic welcome and processi(jji 
of trades, &c., Nov. 10, 1851, and en- 
tertained at a banquet in Town Hall 
on the 12th. He afterwards appeared 
here May 7 and 8, 1866, in the role of 
a public lecturer. 

KyOtt'S Lake. — A ]iool once exist- 
ing where now is Grafton Road, Camp 
Hill. There wa? another pool near it, 
known as Foul Lake. 

Kyrle Society. —So named after 
the cliaracter alluded to by Pope in his 
" Moral Essays " : 

" Wlio taught that heaveii-direeted spire to 
rise ? 
'The Mali of Koss,' each lispiug babe 
repliuh." 

John Kyrle, who died Nov. 11, 1724, 
tiiousih not a native, resided at Ross 
nearly tiie whole of his long and loyal 
life of close on 90 years, and Pope, who 
often visited the neighbourhood, there 
became acquainted with him and his 



good works, and embaltned liis niemory 
in undying verse as an e.ximple to 
future generations. A more bene- 
volent lover of his fellowman than 
Kyrle cannot be named, and a society 
tor cultivating purity of taste, and a 
delight in aiding the well-being of 
others, is rightly called after him. The 
Birnungham Kj'rle Society was estab- 
lished in 1880, and frequent ])aragraphs 
in the local papers tell us of their 
doings, at one time cheering the in- 
mates of the institutions where the 
sick and unfortunate lie, with music 
and song, and at another distributing 
books, pictures, and flowers, where 
they are luized by those who are too 
poor to purchase. The officers of the 
society will be pleased to hear from 
donors, as let contributions of flowers 
or pictures be ever so many, the recip- 
ients are far more numerous. Mr. 
Walliker, our ])hilanthropic ])0st- 
master, is one of th ^ vice-presidents, 
and the arrangements of the parcel 
post are peculiarly suited for forward- 
ing parcels. 

Lady Well. — There is mention in 
a document dated 1347 of a " dwelling 
in Egebaston Strete leading towards 
God well feld," and there can be no 
doubt that this was an allusion to the 
Lady Well, or the well dedicated to the 
blessed Virgiii', close to the old house 
that for centuries sheltered the priests 
that served St. Martin's, and which 
afterwards was called the Parsonage or 
Rectory. The well spring was most 
abundant, and was never known to 
fail. The stream from it helped to 
sui^ply the moat round the Parsonage, 
and there, joined by the waters from 
the higher grounds in the neighbour- 
hood of HoUoway Head, and from the 
hill above the Pinlold, it passed at the 
back of Edgbaston Street, by the way 
of Smithlield passage and Dean 
Street (formerly the course of a brook) 
to the Manor House moat. The Lady- 
well Baths were hi.itorically famous 
and, as stated by Huttoii, were the 
finest in the kingdom. The Holy 
Well of the blessed Virgin still exists, 



SIIOWELLS DICTIONARY OF niRMINGHAM. 



119 



thou<{h covered over and its waters 
allowed to flow into the sewers instead 
of the Baths, and anj' visitor desirous 
of testing the water once liallowed for 
its (uirity must take his course down 
the mean alley known as Ladywell 
Wilk, at tl)e b-nd in whiidi he will 
find a dirt3' passage lea ling to a I'usty 
iron pump, " presented by Sir E. S. 
Ooonh, Bart., to the inhabitants of 
Birniingliam, " as commemorated by an 
inscription on the dirty stone wliich 
covers the spring and its well, God's 
Well finld is covered with workshops, 
stables, dirty backyards and grimy- 
looking houses, and the Biths are a 
timber-yard. 

LambSPt. — Birmingham liad some- 
thing to do with the fattening of the 
celebrated Daniel Lambert, the heaviest 
lump of humanity this country has yet 
produced, for lie was an apprentice to 
!Mr. John Taylor, button maker, of 
Crooked Lane. His ind-ntures were 
cancelled through his becoming so 
tit and unwieldy, and he was sent 
back to his father, the then governor 
of Leicester gaol. Dmiel died June 
'ils"-, 1S09, at Stamford, where he was 
buried; his age was 39, and he weighed 
ii2 stone 11 lb. (at 141b. the stone), 
measuring 9ft,. 4in. round the body, 
and 3fc. lin. round the thick of each 
of his legs. 

Lancashipe Distress.— The ac- 
counts of the Local Fund raided fo •■ the 
relief of the cotton operatives of Lan- 
cashire were publishetl Aug. 3, 1863, 
showing receiitts amounting £15,115 
4s. lOd. 

Lamps. — The number of ordinary 
lamps in the liorough, Huder the con- 
trol of the Public Works Department, 
on tlie 3lst of December, 1882, was 
6,591, of which numberl,9o0 are regu- 
lated to consume 5 "20 cubic fvict, and 
the remainder, or 4,641, 4 30 cubic 
feet per hour ; their cost respectively 
inclusive of lighting, cleaning, and 
extinguishing, was £2 12.s. 4i)d., and 
£2 5s. 2^d. per lamp per annum. In 
addition there are 93 special and 53 
iirinal lamps. 



Lands — Li I'irminghamitisbought 
and sold by the srpiare yard, and very 
pretty jirices are orcasionall}' paid 
therefor ; our agricultural friends 
reckon by acres, roods, and perches. 
The Saxon " hyde " of land, as men- 
tioned in Domesday l>ook and other 
old documents, was efjuivalent to 100, 
or, as some read it, 120 acres ; the 
Norman ' ' Carucase " being similar. 

Land Agency. — An Ititernational 
Laud and babour Agency was estab- 
lished at Birmingham by the Hon. 
Elihu Burritt in' Onober, 1869 ; its 
object being to facilitate the settle- 
ment of English farmers and mechanics 
in the United States, and also to supply 
American orders for English labourers 
and (iomestic servants of all kinds. 
Large numbers of servant-girls in Eng 
land, it was thouglit, would be glad to 
go to America, but nnable to pay their 
passage-money, and unwilling to s.tart 
without knowing where they were to 
go on arriving. This agency advanced 
the iiassage-money, to ha deducted 
from the first wages ; but, though the 
scheme was good and well meant, very 
little advantage was taken of the 
agency, and, like some other of the 
learned blacksmith's notions, though 
a fair-looking tree, it bore very little 
fruit. 

Land and Building Societies. 

— Tliough frequently considered to be 
•juite a modern invention, the jilan of 
a number uniting to ])urcliase lands 
and houses for after di,stribution, is a 
system almost as old as the hills. The 
earliest record we have of a local Build- 
ing Society dates from 1781, though 
no documents are at hand to show its 
methods of working. On Jan. 17, 
1837, the books were ojiened for the 
formation of a Freehold Land and 
Building Society here, but its nselul- 
ness was very limited, and its existence 
short. It was Irfc to the seething and 
revolutionary days of 1847-8, when 
the Continental nations were toppling 
over thrones and kicking out kings, 
for sundry of our men of light and 
leading to bethink themselves of the 



120 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



immense political power that lay in 
the holding of the land, and how, by 
the exercise of the old English law, 
which gave the holder of a 40,s. free- 
hold the right of voting for the elec- 
tion of a "knight of the shire," snch 
power could be brought to bear on 
Parliament, by the extension of the 
franchise in that direction. The times 
were out of joint, trade bad, and dis- 
content universal, and the possession 
of a little bit of the land we live on 
was to be a panacea for every 
abuse complained of, and the sure 
harbinger of a return of the days 
when every Jack had Jill at his 
own fireside. The misery and starva- 
tion existing in Ireland where small 
farms had been divideel and subdivided 
until the poor families could no longer 
derive a sustenance from their several 
moieties, was altogether overlooked, 
and " friends of the ]ieople" advocated 
the wholesale settlement of the unem- 
ployed English on somewhat similar 
small plots. Feargus O'Connor, the 
Chartist leader, started liis National 
Land Society, and thousands paid in 
their weekly mites in hopes of becom- 
ing "lords of the soil ; " estates here 
and there were pureliased, allotments 
made, cottages built, and many new 
homes created. But as figs do not 
grow on thistles, neither was it to be 
expected that men from the weaving- 
sheds, or the mines, sliotild be able to 
grow their own corn, or even know 
how to turn it into bread when grown, 
and that Utopian scheme was a failure. 
More wise in their generation were the 
men of Birmingham : they went not 
for c untry estates, nor for apple 
orr-hards or turnip fields. The wise 
sagaciousuess of their leaders, and the 
Brums always play well at "follow 
my leading," made them go in for the 
vote, the full vote, and nothing but 
the vote. The possession of a little 
plot on wliich to build a house, 
though really the most important, was 
not the first part of the bargain by any 
means at the commencement. To get a 
vote and thus help upset something or 
somebody was all that was thought of 



at the time, though now the case is 
rather different, few members of any of 
the many societies caring at present so 
much for the franchise as for the 
" proputty, propntty, proputty. " Mr. 
James Taylor, jun. , has been generally 
dubbed the " the father of the freehold 
land societies," and few men have done 
more than him in their establishment, 
but the honour of dividing the first 
estate in this neighbourhood, we 
believe, must be given to Mr. William 
Benjamin Smith, whilome secretary of 
the j\Ianchester Order of Odd Fellows, 
and afterwards publisher of the Bir- 
mingham Mercury new.spaper. Being 
possessed of a small estate of about 
eight acres, near to the Railway 
Station at Perry Barr, he had it laid 
out in 100 lots, which were sold by 
auction at Hawley's Temperance Hotel, 
Jan. 10, 1848, each lot being of 
sufficient value to carry a vote for the 
shire. The purchasers were principally 
members of an Investment and Per- 
manent Benefit Building Society, 
started January 4, 1847, in connection 
with the local branch of Oddfellows, of 
which Mr. Smith was a chief official. 
Franchise Street, which is supposed to 
be the only street of its name in Eng- 
land, was the result of this division 
of land, and as every purchaser pleased 
himself in the matter of archi- 
tecture, the style of building may 
be called that of " the free and 
easy. " Many estates have been divided 
since then, thousands of acres in the 
outskirts being covered with houses 
wliere erst were green fields, and in a 
certain measure Birmingham owes much 
of its extension to the admirable work- 
ing of the several Societies. As this 
town led the van in the formation of 
the present style of Land and Building 
Societies, it is well to note here their 
present general status. In 1850 there 
were 75 Societies in the kingdom, with 
about 25,000 members, holding among 
them 35,000 shares, with paid-up sub- 
scripti 'US amounting to £164,000. In 
1880, the number of societies in Eng- 
land was 946, in Scotland, 53, and in 
Ireland 27. The number of members 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIHMIXGIIAM. 



121 



n the English societies was 320,076, 
in the scotch 11,902, and in the Irish 
6,533. A return relating to these 
societies in England has just been 
issued, which shows that there are now 
1,687 societies in existence, with a 
membersliip of 493,271. The total 
receipts during the last financial year 
amounted to £20,919,473. Tliere were 
1,528 societies making a return of 
liabilities, which were to the holders 
of shares £29,351,611, and to the 
depositors £16,3.51,611. There was a 
balance of unappropriated profit to the 
extent of £1,567,942. The assets came 
to £44,587,718. In Scotland there 
were 15,386 members of building socie- 
ties ; the receipts were £413,609, the 
liabilities to holders of shares amounted 
to £679,990, to depositors and other 
creditors £268,511 ; the assets consisted 
of balance due on mortgage securities 
£987,987, and amount invested in 
other securities and cash £67,618. lu 
Ireland there were 9,714 members of 
building societies ; the receipts were 
£778,889, liabilities to the holders of 
shares £684,396, to depositors and 
others £432,356 ; the assets included 
balance due on mortgage securities 
£1,051,423, and amount invested in 
other securities £79,812. There were 
150 of the English societies whose 
accounts showed deficiencies amounting 
to £27,850 ; two Scotch societies minus 
£862, but no Irish short. It is a 
pity to have to record that there have 
been failures in Birmingham, foremost 
among them being that of the Victoria 
Land and Building Societ\', which 
came to grief in 1870, with liabilities 
amounting to £31,550. The assets, 
including £5,627 given by the direc- 
tors and trustees, and £886 contrihureil 
by other persons, realised £27,972. 
Creditors jiaid in full took £9,271, the 
rest receiving 8s. 9d. in the {louml, and 
£4,897 being swallowed up in costs. 
The break-up of the Midland Land and 
Investment Corporation (Limited) is 
the latest. This Company was estab- 
lished in 1864, and by no means con- 
fined itself to procuring sites for 
workmen's dwellintcs, or troubled about 



getting them votes. According to its 
last advertisement, the authorised capi- 
tal was £500,000, of which £248.900 
had been subscribed, but only £62,225 
called up, though the reserve fund was 
stated to he £80,000. What the divi- 
dend will be is a matter for the future, 
and may not even be guessed at at 
present. The chief local societies, and 
their present status, areas follows : — 

The Birmingham Freehold Land 
Society was started in 1848, and the 
aggregate receipts up to tlie end of 
1882 amounted to £680,132 12.s. 7d. 
The year's receipts were £20,978 16s. 
5d., of which £11,479 represented pay- 
ments niaiie by members who had been 
alloted land on the estates divided by 
the Society, there being, after payment 
of all expenses, a balance of £11,779 
12s. 9d. The number of members was 
then 772, and it was calculated that 
the whole of the allotments made woald 
be ])aid off" in four years. 

The Fncndhj Benefit Buildiiuj Society 
was organised in 1859, and up to Mid- 
summer, 1883, the sums paid in 
amounted to £340,000. The year's 
receipts were £21,834 19s. 6d., of 
which £10,037 came from borrowers, 
whose whole indebtedness would be 
cleared in about Sg years. The mem- 
bers on the books numbered 827, of 
whom 634 were investors and 143 bor- 
rowers. Tlie reserve fund stood at 
£5,704 5s. 9d There is a branch of 
this Society connec:ed with Severn 
Street Schools, and in a flourishing 
condition, 32 members haviui,' joined 
during the year, and £2,800 having 
been received as contribntions. The 
total amount paid in since the com- 
mencement of the branch in June, 
1876, was £18,181 133. lid. The 
Severn Street scholars connected with 
it had secured property iluriiig the 
past year valued at £2,400. 

The Incorporated Building .'Society 
comprises the United, the Queen's, 
the Freeholders', and the Second Free- 
holders' Societies, th« earliest of them 
established in 1849, the incorporation 
taking place in 1378. Tiie aggregate 
receipts of these several Societies wouhl 



122 



SHOWKLL 8 DICTIONARY OJ' BIRNINGHAM. 



reach nearly 3| millions. The amounts 
paid in since the aniala;amatioii (to the 
end of 1882) being £1,019,667 As 
might bs expeoteii the present Society 
has a large constitneiiej', numbering 
6,220 members, 693 of whom joined 
iu 1882. Tiie advances duiiiig the 
year reached £78,275, to 150 bor- 
rowers, being an average of £500 to 
each. The amount due from bor- 
rowers was £482,000, an average of 
£540 each. The amount due to in- 
vestors was ££449,000, an average of 
£84 each. The borrowers repaid last 
year £104,000, and as there was 
£482,000 now due on mortgage 
accounts, the whole capital of the 
!-ociety would be turned over in live 
years, instead of thirteen and a half, 
the period for which the money was 
lent. The withdrawals had been 

£85,409, which was considerably under 
tlie average, as the society had paid 
away since tlie amalgamation £520,000, 
or £104,000 per annum. The amount 
of interest credited to investors was 
£19,779. A total of £100,000 had 
been credited in the last five years. 
The reserve fund now a'nouiited to 
£34, 119, which was nearly 7^ per cent. 
«n the whole capital employed. 

llie BirmingJiam Building Society, 
JS'o. 1, Avas established in May, 1842, 
and re-established in 1853. It has now 
1,580 members, subscribing for shares 
amounting to £634 920. Tlie last re- 
port states that during the existence of 
ihe society over £500,000 has been ad- 
vanced to members, and that the 
amount of "receipts and payments" 
have reached ttie sum of £1.883,444. 
Reserve fund is put at £5,000. 

The Birmingharn Building Society, 
No. 4, was established in June, 1846, 
and claims to be the oldest society in 
the town. Tlie report to end of June, 
1883, gave the number ot sliares as 
801f, of which 563^ belong to investors, 
and the remainder to borrowers. The 
year's receipts were £10 432, and 
£6,420 was advanced. The balance- 
sheet showed the unallotted share fund 
to be £18,042, on deposit £3,915, due 



to bank £2,108, and balance in favour 
of society £976. The assets amounted 
to £25,042, of which £21,163 was on 
mortgages, and £3,818 on properties in 
possession. 

St Philip's Building Society was 
began ill January, 1850, since when 
(up to January, 'l883) £116,674 had 
been advanced on mortgages, and 
£28,921 repaid to depositing members. 
Tiie society had then 320 members, 
holding among them 1,094J shai'es. 
The year's receipts were £13,136, and 
£7,815 had been advanced in same 
period. The reserve fund was £3,642 ; 
the assets £65,940, of whi.'h £54,531 
was on mortgages, £7,987 deferred 
premiums, and £2,757 properties in 
hand. 

Several societies have not favoured 
us with their reports. 

Law. — There are 306 solicitors and 
lawttrmsin Birmingham, 19 barristers, 
and a host of students and law clerks, 
eacii and every one of whom doubtless 
dreams of becoming Lord Chancellor. 
The Birmingham Law Society vvas 
formed in 1818, and there is a Societj' 
of Law Students besides, and a Law 
Library. At present, our Law Courts 
comprise the Bankruptcy and County 
Courts, Assize Courts (held ^)ro tern 
in the Council House), the Quarter 
Sessions' and Pett}' Si'ssions' Courts. 

Leagrue of Univepsal Bpother- 

hood. — Originated by Elihu Barritt, 
in 1846, while sitting in the "Angel," 
at Pershore, on his walk through Eng- 
land. He came back to Joseph Sturge 
and here was printed his little perio.li- 
cal called "Tne Bond of Brotherhood," 
leading to many Literiiational Ad- 
dresses, Peace Congresses, and Olive- 
Leaf ]\lissioiis, but alas ! alas ! !iow 
very far off still seems the " universal 
jieace " thus sought to be brought 
about. Twenty thousand signatures 
were attached to "The Bond" in one 
j'ear. Far more than that number 
have been slain in warfare every year 
since. 

Lease Lane. — Apparently a cor- 



SHOWEI.l's UiCTlOiNAUV OV mUAllNGllAM. 



123 



luptiou of Lua or Leay LauCjan aucient 
bye-road ruiiniiig at the back of tlie 
Dog or Talbot Inn, the Oivuers of which, 
some 300 years ago, were uairieJ Loays. 
Wlieu the Market Hall was built ami 
sewers were laid round it, the work- 
men came upon what was at the time 
iiuigiued to be an underground pas- 
sage, leading from the Guildhall in 
Kew Street lo the old Church of St. 
Martin's. Local antiquarians at the 
time would appeur to have been con- 
spicuous by their absence, as the work- 
men Were allowed to close the passage 
with rubbish without a proper exaniiua- 
tioa being made of it. Quite lately, 
however, in digging out the .soil for the 
exteusion of the Fish Market at a point 
ou the line of Lease Lane, about 60ft. 
from Bell Street, tht; workmen, on 
leaching a depth of 8ft. or 9ft., struck 
upon the same underground passage, 
but of which the original purpose was 
uot very apparent. Cut in the soft 
sandstone, and devoid of any lining, it 
ran almost at right augles to Lease 
Laue, and proved to extend half way 
under that thoroughfare, and some four 
or hvc yards into the excavated ground. 
Under Lease Laue it was blocked 
by rubbish, through which a sewer is 
believed to run, and therefore the ex- 
act ending of the passage in one direc- 
tion caunot be traced ; in the excavated 
ground it ended, on the site of a dis- 
mantled public-house, in a circular 
shaft, which may have been that of a 
well, or that of a cesspool. The pas- 
age, so far as it was traceable, was 
2ift. long, 7ft. high, and 4^fc. wide. 
As to its use before it was severed by 
the sewerage of Lea^e Lane, the conjec- 
ture is that it alforded a secret means 
of commuuication between two houses 
seiiarated above ground by that 
tiioroughfare, but for what purpose 
must remain one of the perplexing 
puzzles of the past. That it had uo 
connccciou with the Church or the 
Grammar School (the site of the old 
Guild House) is ijuite certain, as the 
course of the passage was in a tlili'ereut 
direction. 



Leasing" Wives. — In the histories 
of sundry straiige lands we read of 
curious customs a[ijiertaining to mar- 
riage and the giving in marriage. Tak- 
ing a wife on trial is the rule of juore 
than one happy clime, but taking a 
wile upon lea.sc is quite a lirumniagem 
way ot marrying (using the term iu the 
mannerof many detr.ictor.sofour town's 
fair fame). In one of the numbers of 
the Gentlenian's Magazine, for the year 
17b8, Mr. Sylvanus Urban, as the 
editor has always been called, is ad- 
dres.sed as follows by a Birmingham 
correspondent: — "Since my residing 
in this town I have often heard there 
is a method of obtaining a wife's sister 
upon lease. I never could learn the 
method to be taken to get a wife 
upon lease, or whether such con- 
nections are sanctioned by law ; but 
tliere is an eminent manufacturer in 
tlie viciuitj' of this town who liad his 
deceased wife's .■-ister upon lease for 
twenty years and upwards ; and I 
know she went by his name, enjoyed 
all the privileges, aud received all the 
honours due to the respectable name 
of wife." A later case of marital 
leasing has often been noted against 
us by thealoresaid sinirchers of cliarac- 
ter as occurring in 1853, but in reality 
it was rather an instance of hiring a 
liusband. 

Leather Hall.— As early as the 
Norman Coiupest this town was 
famed for its tanneries, and there was 
a considerable market for leather for 
centuries after. Two of the Court 
Leet officers were '' Leather Sealers," 
and part of the proclamation made by 
the Crier of the Court when it held its 
meetings was in these words, "All 
whyte tawers tliat sell not good 
chaffer as they ought to do reasonably, 
and bj'e the skynnes in any other 
place than intowne or market, ye shall 
do us to weet," meaning that anyone 
knowing of such otl'ences on the part 
of the "whyte tawers" or tanners 
should give intormation at the Court 
then assembled. New Street originally 
was entered from High Street under 



124 



SHOWELl's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



an arched gatewa)', ami here was the 
Leather Hall (which was still in exist- 
ence in Huttou's time), where the 
"Sealers" performed their fanetious. 
It was taken down when New Street 
was opened ont, and thongh we have an 
extensive hide and skin market now, 
we can hardly be said to possess a 
market for leather other than the boot 
and shoe shops, the saddlers, &c. 

Leneh's TpusL— See " Fhilan- 
thropic Institutions' 

Liberal Association.— Ou Feb. 

17, 1865, a meet-ng was hehl m the 
committee room of the Town Hall for 
tlie purpose of lorniiiigan organisation 
which"sliould " unite all the Liberals of 
tlie town, and provide them with a 
regular and efficient method of ex&y- 
ci^ing a. leg itimcde influence in favour of 
their^'political principles. The outcome 
of this meeting was thfl birth of the 
now tamous Liberal "Caucus," and 
though the names of ten gentlemen 
were°appended to the advertisement 
calling the meeting, the honour of the 
paternity of tlie Liberal bantling is 
generally given to Mr. William Harris. 
The governing body of the a^^sociation 
was fixed at two dozen, inclusive of the 
president, vice, and secretary ; all per- 
sons subscribing a sliilliog or more per 
annum being eligible to become mem- 
bers. The ''General Committee," for 
some time known as the " Four Hun- 
dred ■' was enlarged in 1876 to Six 
Hundred, and in June, 1880, to Eight 
Hundred, the Executive Committee, at 
the same tiiue, being considerably in- 
creased. Tlie recent alteration iu the 
franchise, and the division of the 
borough and outskirts into seven elec- 
toral districts, has led to a reorganisa- 
tion ot the Association, or Associations, 
for each of the seven divisions now 
works by itself, though guided by a 
central Council.— A " Women's Libe- 
ral Association" was fninded in 
October, 1873, and a " Juniiu- Liberal 
Asseciation " in October, i878. 

Libraries.— The first public ^or 
semi-public library founded iu Bir- 



mingham, was the Theological. In 
1733, the Rev. William Higgs, first 
Rector of St. Philip's, left his collec- 
tion of 550 volumes, and a sum of 
money, to found a library for the use 
of clergymen and students The books, 
many of which are rare, are kept iu a 
building erected in 1792, adjacent to 
the Rectory, and are accessible to all 
for whom the library was designed.-— 
A Circulating Library was opened in 
Colmore Row, in 1763, and at one time 
there was a second-class institution of 
the kind at a house up one ot the 
courts in Dale End.— A "New 
Library" was opened in Cannon Street, 
April 26, 1796, wliich was removed to 
Temple Row, iu 1821, and afterwards 
united to the Old Liln-ary. The 
latter was commenced in 1779, the first 
room for the convenience of members 
being opened in 1782, and the present 
building in Union Street, erected in 
1798. The report of the committee 
for the year 1882 showed that there 
were 772 pvoi)rietors, at 21s. per 
annum ; 35 annual subscribers, at 31s. 
6d. per annum ; 528 at 21s. ; 6 quar- 
terly, at 9s. per quarter ; 53 at 6s. per 
quarter ; 17 resident members of 
subscribers' families, at 10s. per an- 
num ; and 118 resident members of 
subscribers' families (readei's) at 5s. 
The total number of members was 1,479; 
the year's subscriptions bting £1,594. 
The price of shares has been raised from 
two to three guineas during the past 
year. Receipts from shares, fines, &c., 
amounted to about £480, making the 
amount actually received in 1882, 
£2,012 6s. The expenditure had been 
£1,'818 19s. 9J., inclusive of £60 carried 
to the reserve fund, and £108 paid on 
account of the new catalogue ; and 
there remained a balance of £198 6s. 
Id. in hand. £782 Os. 9J. had^ been 
expended on the purchase of 1,560 ad- 
ditional books, re-binding others, &c. , 
making a total of about 50,000 
vo' umes. The library needs extension, 
bar the shortness of the lease (thirty 
yca.'s only) and the high value of 
the adjoining land prevents any step 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



125 



being talceuin thatilircction at present. 
The Biriniiighaiu Law Society's Library 
was foumled in February, 1831, by 
Mr. Arthur Ryland, and has now 
nearly 6,000 vohmies of law work.s, 
law reports (English, Scoteh, and 
Irish), local ami personal Acts, &c. , kc. 
The present home in "Wellington Pass 
age was opened August 2, 1876, being 
far more commodious than tlie old 
abode in Waterloo-street, the " library" 
itself being a room 35ft. long, 22ft. 
wide, and 20ft. high, with a gallery 
round it. There are several extensive 
libraries connected with places of wor- 
ship, such, as the Church of the Saviour, 
Edward Street. Severn Street Schools, 
the Friends' ileeting House, kc. and a 
number of valuable collections in the 
hands of sonieweli-known connoisseurs, 
literati, and antiquarians, access to 
most of which may be obtained on 
proper introduction. 

Libraries (Tlie Free),— The first 

attemjit to found a Free Library in 
this town was the holding of a public 
meeting in April, 1852, under the 
provisions of the Museums and Libra- 
ries Act of 1850, which allowed of a 
h\. rate being levied for the support of 
sufh institutions. Whether the towns- 
folk were careless on the subject, or 
extra careful, and therefore, doubtful 
of the sufticienc}' of the ^d. rate to 
provide them, is not certain ; but so 
little interest was shown in the niatter 
that only 534 persons voted for the 
adoption of the Act, while 363 voted 
against it, and the question for tlie 
time was shelved, as the Act required 
the assents to be two-tliirds of the 
total votes given. In 1855 tlie Com- 
missioner of patents presented to the 
town some 200 volumes, conditionallj' 
that they should be kept in a Free 
Library, and about the same time 
another proposal was made to c stablish 
such a Library, but to no effect. The 
Act was altered so that a penny rate 
could be made, and in October, 1859, 
it was again suggested to try the bur- 
gessts. On February 21, 1860, the 
meeting was held and the adoption of 



the Act carried by a large majority. 
A committee of si.xteen, eight members 
of the Council, and eight out of it, was 
chosen, and in a short time their work 
was shown by the transfer of 10,000 
square feet of land belonging to the 
Midland Institute, on whicli to erect a 
central library, the preparations of 
plans therefor, the jiurchase of books, 
and (A])ril 3, 1861) the opening of 
the first branch library and reading 
room in Constitution Hill. Mr. E. M. 
Barry, the architect of the Midland 
Institute, put in iiesigiis, including 
Art Gallery, but his figures were too 
high, being £14,250 10s.. the Town 
Council havingonly voted £10,500. The 
plans of Mr. W. Martin, whose estimate 
was £12,000 were adopted, the Council 
added £1,500, a loan for the cash was 
negotiated, and building commenced 
by -Messrs. Branson and Murray, whose 
tender to do the work for £8,600 was 
accejited. Thirty-two apiilications for 
the chief librarianship at £200 per 
annum were sent in, the chosen man 
being Mr. J. D. MuHins, tliough he 
was not the one recommended by the. 
Committee. The Central Leiulii;g Li- 
brary (with 10,000 volumes) and Read- 
ing-room, with Art Gallery, was for- 
mally opened September 6, 1865, and 
the Reference Library (then containing 
18,200 volumes) October 26, 1866. In 

1869, the latter was much enlarged 
by the purchase of 604 square yards of 
land in Edmuiul Street, and the total 
cost of the buihiing came to £14,896. 
The Branch Library at Adderley Park 
was opened .January 11, 1864 ; that at 
D>-ritend Oct. 2, 1866, and at Gosta 
Green Feb. 1, 1868. At the end of 

1870, the total number of volumes in 
the whole of the Libraries was 56,764, 
of which 26,590 were in the Reference, 
and 12,595 in the Central Lending 
Library. By 1877, the total number 
of volumes had reached 86,087, of 
which 46,520 were in the Relereiice, 
and 17,543 in the Central Lending, 
the total number of borrowers being 
8,947 at the Central, 4,188 at Consti- 
tution Hill, 3,002 at Deritend, 2,668 



126 



SHOWELL'S dictionary op mRMINGHA.M. 



at Gosta Green, and 271 at Adilerley 
Park. Meantime several new features 
in connection with the Reference Li- 
brary had appeared. A room liad been 
fitted up and dedicated to tlie recep- 
tion of the "Shakespeare .Memorial Li- 
brary," presented April 23, 186-4 ; the 
" CervanttsLibrary," presented by Mr. 
Brarr£(e, was (.pene<l on a .similar date 
in 1873; the -'Staunton Collection" 
purchased for £2,400, (not half its 
value) was added Sept. 1, 1875, and 
very many important additions had 
been made to the Art Gallery and 
incipient Museum. For a long time, 
the Free Libraries' Committee had 
under consideration the necessity of 
extendincr the building, by adding a 
wing, which should be used not only 
as an Art Gallery, but also as an 
Industrial Museum ; the Art Gallery 
and its treasures being located in that 
portion of the lavmises devoted to 
the Midland Institute, which was 
found to be a very inconvenient ar- 
rangement. The subject came under 
the" notice of the Council on 
February 19th, 1878, when the com- 
mittee submitted plans of the pro- 
posed alterations. These included the 
erection of a new block of builiings 
fronting Edmund Street, to consist of 
three storeys. The Town Council ap- 
proved the' plans, and granted £11,000 
to defray the cost of the enlargement. 
About ]\lidsummtr the committee pro- 
ceeded to carry out the plans, and in 
order to do this it was necessary to re- 
move the old entrance ball and the 
flight of stairs which led up to the 
SirakespeareMemorial Library and to the 
Reference Library, and to make sundry 
other alterations of the buildings. The 
Library was closed for several days, and 
in the meantime the walls, where the 
entrances were, were pulled down and 
wooden partitions were run up across 
tie room, making each department of 
much smaller ana than before. In 
addition to this a boarded-in staircase 
was erected in Edmund Street, by which 
persons were able to gain access to the 
Lending Library, which is on the 



ground floor, and to the Reference Li- 
brary, which was i^nmediately above. 
A similar staircase was made in Rat- 
cliiF-place, near the cab stand, for the 
accommodation of the members of the 
Midland Institute, who occupy the^ 
Paradise-street side of the buildiifi»|j. 
The space between tlie two stair^^ii^s^s^ 
was boarded up, in order to ke^-p, t,lia. 
public off the works during th?. ajtera-., 
tions, and the necessary gai, supply- 
pipes, &c. , were located outside,, thpse , 
wooden partitions. The. ajteratipns^ 
were well advanced by Christina?, ai,)di 
everything bade fair for an, early, and,, 
satisfactory completian of, the under- 
taking. The weather, however, was 
most severe, and now and then the 
moisture in the gas-pipes exposed t,"',, 
the air became frozen. This occurrc.!.^ 
on the afternoon of Saturday, January 
11, 1879, ami an einjdoye of the gas 
office lit a gas jet to thaw one of the pipes, 
A shaving was blown by the wind acro-s. 
this light, it blazed ; the flame caught 
other shavings, which I'ad been packed 
round the pipe to keep the frost out, 
and in less than a minute the fire wasi 
inside, and in one hour the Pdrming-. 
ham Reference Library was doomed 
to destiuction. It was the greatest 
loss the town had ever suffered, but a 
new building has arisen on the site^ 
and (with certain exceptions) it is, 
hoped that a more perfect and vaUiabla 
Library will be gathered to fill it. In 
a few days after the lire it was de- 
cided to ask the public at large for at 
least £10,000 towards a new collection, 
and within a week £7,000 had been 
sent in, the principal donors named in 
the list being — 



The iVIayor (Mr. Jesse Collins) 

Alderinau Chamberlain, M.P. (as 
Trustpe of the late Mrs. Chamber- 
lain, Moor Green) . . 

Alderman Chamberlain, M.P. 

Alderman Avery 

Mr. John Jaft'ray 

Mr. A. Foljett Osier, K.R.S 

Mr. John Feeney 

Mrs. Harrold 

Mr. Timothy Kenrick 

Mr. William Middlemore 

A Friend , 



£ s. 
10 



1000 

500 

500 

500 

500 0. 

250 

250 

2.'50 

250 

250 



SUOWKLL's DlCTloNAUr OK ISIlfMINQHAM. 



1 



Mr. Jaiiies Atkins i°, „ 

Lord Oalll.orpe 1"^ 

Lord Teynhaiu JOO 

Mr. Thomas Gladstone ll"J " 

Messrs. William Tonka and Sons .. 100 

Mr. W. A. Watkins -^-^ a 

Mr. and Mrs. T. Scruton .. •■ J^ ,? 

Dr. Anthony {i ]?, 

Mr. Oliver Peniberton .. . .. 5-^10 

Alderman Baker oO 

Alderman Hanow - A 

Messrs. Cadbmv Brothers .. .. 5i 

Mr. J. H. Chamberlain . . . • 50 

Alderman Uevkin .. .. -. 50 

Mr. T. S. Fallows 50 

Mr. J. D. Onodnian .iO 

Councillor Johnson 50 

Mr. William Martin 50 

Councillor Th.imas Martineau .. 50 

Councillor R F. Martineau .. .. 50 

Mr. Lawlev Parker 50 

Mrs. E. Phipson 50 

Messrs. Player Brothers . . . - 50 

Mr. Walter Showell 50 

Mr. Sam Timnuns 50 

The Rev. A. R. Vardy -'lO 

Mr. J. S. Wrii,'ht and Sons .. .. 50 

In sums of £-20, <fcc 4S0 5 

In ^ums of £10, &c 217 2 

la sums of £5, &c 1(53 5 

Smaller amounts .. .. .. SS S 

This fiiml has received many noble 
aiiditious .since the above, the total, 
withinteresr, amountini,', up to the end 
of 1883, to no less than £13, .500, of 
which there is still in hanii, £10,000 for 
the purchase of books. The precaiuiou 
of insuring such an institution and its 
contents had of course been taken, and 
most fortunately the requisite endorse- 
ments on the policies had been made 
to cover the extra ri^k accruing from 
the alteration in progress. The insur- 
ances were made in the " Lancashire " 
and "Yorkshire" offices, the buildings 
for £10,000, the Reference Library for 
£12,000, the Lendii.g Library for 
£1.000, the Shakespeare Library for 
£1,500, tlie Prince Consort staiue f>r 
£1,000, the models of Burke and 
Goldsmith for £100, and the bust of 
MrTimmins tor £100, making £25,700 
in all. The two companies hardly 
waited fjr ihe claim to be made, but 
met it iu a most generous manner, 
paying over at once £20,000, of which 
£10,523 has been devoted to the build- 
ings and fittings, nearly £500 paid for 
expenses and injury to statues, and the 



remaining £9,000 [lut to the book pur- 
chase fund. In the Reference Library 
there were (juite 48,000 volumes.iu addi^ 
tion to about 4,000 of patent specifica- 
tions. Every great deparimentof human 
knowledge was represented by the l)est 
known works. In history, biography, 
voyages, and travels, natural iiistoiy, 
fine arts, all the greatest works, not 
only in English, but often iu the. 
principal European languages, had been, 
gathered. Volumes of maps and plans,^ 
engravings ot all sorts of anti'iuities," 
costumes, weapons, transactions of ail 
the chief learned societies, and 
especially bibliography, or "books 
about books" had been collected witl^ 
unceasing care, the shelves being loaded 
with costly and valuable works rarely 
found out of the great libraries of Lon- 
don, or Oxford, Cinibridgp, Edinburgh, 
or Glasgow. Among the collections 
lost were many viduraes relating to the 
early history of railways in England, 
originally collected by Mr. Charles 
Brewin, and supplemented by all the 
pamphlets and tracts procurable. Many 
of those volumes were full of cuttings 
from contemporary newspapers, and 
early reports of early rail way companies, 
andof tlieconiiition of canals and roads." 
Still more valuable were many bundles 
of papers, letters, invoices, calculations, 
etc., concerning the early attempt to" 
establish the cotton naanufacture in 
Birmingham at tlie beginning of the 
last century, including the papers of- 
Warren, the printer, and some letters 
of Dr. Johnson, and others relating the 
story of the invention of .spinning by 
rollers — the work of John VVyatt and 
Lewis Paul — long liefore Arkwright"s 
time Among the immense collection 
of Birmingham books and [)apers were 
hundreds of Acis of Parliament, Bir- 
mingham Almanacs, Directories (from 
1770) most curiou.s, valuable, and rare ; 
a heap of pam[)hlets on tlie Grammar 
School, Birmingham History, Topo- 
graphy, and Guides ; the political 
pampliletsof Job Xott and John Nott, 
some of wliich were the only cojiies 
known, the more ancient pamphlets 
describing Prince Rupert's Burning. 



128 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



Love (date 1643) and others of that 
time ; reports from the year 1726 of the 
.several local learnnd institutions ; an 
invaluable collection of maps ; pro- 
grammes of the Festivals ; and copies 
of all the known Birniin<;liam news- 
papers and periodicals (some being 
perfectsets) etc. , etc. Of all the host not 
more than 1,000 volumes were saved. 
The fame of the Shakespeare Memorial 
Library at Birmingham was world-wide 
and to us it had extra value as emanat- 
nig from the love which George Daw- 
son bore for tliememoryof Shakespeare. 
It was his wish that the library should 
be possessed of every known edition of 
the bard's works in every language, and 
that it should contain evei'}' book ever 
printed about him or his writings. In 
the words of Mr. Timmins, "The de- 
votion of George Dawson to Shakespeare 
was not based u})on literary reasons 
alone, nor did it only rest upon his ad- 
miration and his marvel at the wou- 
dious gifts bestowed upon this greatest 
of men, but it was founded upon his 
love for one who loved s > much. His 
j'.eart, which knew no inhumanity, re- 
joiced in one who was so greatly 
human, and the basis of his reverence 
lor Shakespeare was his own reverence 
for man. It was thus, to him, a con- 
stant pleasure to mark the increasing 
number of the students of Shakespeare, 
and to see how, hrst in one language 
and then in another, attempts were 
made to bring some knowledge of his 
work to other nations than the English- 
speaking ones ; and the acquisition of 
some of these books by the library was 
received by him with delight, not 
merely ornot mucii for acquisition sake, 
but as another evidence of the ever- 
wideniiig influence of Shakespeare's 
work. The contents of this library 
were to Mr. Dawson a great and con- 
vincing proof that the greatest of all 
English authors had not lived 
fruitlessly, and that the widest 
human heart the world has known had 
not poured out its treasure in vain." 
So successful had the attempts of the 
collectors been that nearly 7^000 vol- 



umes had been brought together, many 
of them coming from the most distant 
parts of the globe. The collec:ion in- 
cluded 336 editions of Sliakspeare's 
complete works in English, 17 in 
French, 58 in German, 3 in Danish, 1 
in Dutch, 1 in Bohemian, 3 in Italian, 
4 in Polish, 2 in Russian, 1 in Spanish, 
1 in Swedish ; while in Frisian, Ice- 
landic, Hebrew, Greek, Servian, Wal- 
lachiau, Welsh, and Tamil there were 
copies of many separate plays. The 
English volumes numbered 4,500, the 
German 1,500, the French 400. The 
great and costly editions of Boydell and 
Halliwell, the original folios of 1632, 
1664, and 1685, the very rare quarto 
contemporary issues of various plays, 
the valuable German editions, the 
matchless collection of " ana," in con- 
temporary criticism, reviews, &c. , and 
llie interesting garnering of all the de- 
tails of the Tercentenary Celebration — 
wall-posters, tickets, pamphlets, cari- 
catures, &c. , were all to be found here, 
forming the largest and most varied 
collection of Sliakspeare's works, and 
the English and foreign literature illus- 
trating them, which has ever been 
made, and the greatest literary memo- 
rial which any author has ever yet re- 
ceived. So highly was the library 
valued that its contents were consulted 
from Berlin and Paris, and even from 
the United States, and similar libraries 
have been founded in other places. 
Only 500 of the books were preserved, 
and many of them were much damaged. 
The loss of the famed Statmton or 
Warwickshire collection was even worse 
than that of the Shakespearean, ricii 
and rare as that was, for it included the 
results of more than two centuries' 
patient work, from the days of Sir 
William Dugdale down to the begin- 
ning of the present century. The 
manuscript collections of Sir Simon 
Archer, fellow-labourer of Dugdale, the 
records of the Berkeley, Digby, and 
Ferrers families, the valueeland patient 
gatherings of Thomas Sharpe, the 
Coventry antiquarian, of William 
Hamper, the Birmingham collector, 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



129 



and of William Staunton himself, were 
all here, forming the most wonderful 
county collection ever yet formed, and 
which a hundred years' work will never 
replace. The books, many rare or 
unique, and of extraordinary value, 
comprised over 2000 volumes ; there 
were hundreds of sketches and water- 
colour drawings of buildings long since 
destroyed, and mure than 1,500 en- 
gravings of various places in the county, 
among them being some 300 relating to 
Birmingham, 200 to Coventry, 200 to 
Warwick Castle, 200 to Kenilworth 
Castle, and more than 100 to Stratford- 
on-Avon. The thousand portraits of 
Warwickshire Worthies, more rare and 
valuable still, included no less than 
267 distinct portraits of Shakes- 
peare, every one from a different 
block or plate. There was, in fact, 
everything about Warwickshire which 
successive generations of learned and 
generous collectors could secure. 
Among other treasures were hundreds 
of Acts of Parliament, all pedigrees, 
pamphlets, &c. , about the Earls of 
Warwick and the town of Warwick ; 
the original vellum volume with the 
installation of Robert Dudley, Eirl of 
Leicester, to the Order of St. JMichael, 
with his own autograph ; volumes of 
rare, curious autographs of county 
interest ; county poll books, news- 
papers and magazines ; all tlie rare 
Civil \Var pamphlets relating to the 
Warwickshire incidents ; ancient deeds, 
indulgences, charters, seals, rubbings 
of brasses long lost or worn away, 
medals, coins, hundreds in number ; 
and rare and invaluable volumes, like 
the Due de Nortombria's " Arcano de 
Mare," and two fine copies of Dugdale's 
Warwickshire; besides hundreds of 
books, engravings, caricatures, pam- 
phlets and tracts. The catalogue of 
this precious collection had only recent- 
ly been completed, but even that was 
burnt, so that there is nothing left to 
show the full e.xtent of the loss sus- 
tained. The only salvage consisted of 
three books, thougli most providentially 
one of the three was the splendid 



Cartulary of the Priory of St. Anne, at 
Knowle, a noble vellum folio, richly 
illuminated by some patient scribe four 
centuries ago, and j)reserving not only 
the names of the benefactors of the 
Priory, and details of its ])Ossessions, 
but alsothe service books of the Church, 
with the ancient music and illuminated 
initials, as fresh and perfect as when 
first written. Of almost inestim- 
able value, it has now an acquired 
interest in the fact of its being, 
so to speak, all that remains of 
all the great Staunton collection. 
TheCurvantes Library, which had taken 
him a quarter of a century to gather 
together, was presented by Mr. William 
Bragge. For many years, even in a busy 
life, Mr. Bragge, in his visits to Spain 
and his travels all over Europe, had 
been able to collect nearlyall the known 
editions, not only of " Don Quixote," 
but of all the other works of Cervantes. 
Not only editions, but translations 
into any and every language were 
eagerly sought ; and, after cherishing 
his treasures for many years, Mr. Bragge 
was so impressed with the Shakespeare 
Library that he generously offered his 
unrivalled collection of the great con- 
temporary author to the town of which 
he is a native, and in which he after- 
wards came to live. The collection 
extended from editions published in 
1605 down to our own days, and in- 
cluded many very rare and very costly 
illustrated volumes, which can never 
be replaced. All the known transla- 
tions were among theithousand volumes, 
and all the works were in the choicest 
condition, but only ten survived the 
fire. — From the Lending Library about 
10.000 volumes were rescued, and as 
there were nearly 4,000 in the hands of 
readers, the loss here was comparatively 
small.Thepresentnuniberofliooksinthc 
Reference Library bids fair to surpass 
the collection lost, except, of course, 
as regards the Shakespeare, Cervantes, 
and Staunton gatherings, the latter of 
which it is simply impossible to re- 
place, while it will take many years to 
make up the other two. There are 



130 



SHO WELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



now (March, 1884) over 54,000 volumes 
on the shelv^es, iucluaing 4,300 sived 
from the fire, about 33,000 I'Urchased, 
and nearly 17,000 presented. Among 
tli« latter are many rare and costly 
works given to Birmingham soon after 
the ca'astroiihe b^y a number of socie- 
ties and gentlemen connected with the 
town, as well as others at home and 
abroad. To catalogue the names of all 
donors is im}>ossible, but a few of 
those who first contributed may be 
given. Foremost, many of the books 
being of local character, was the 
gift of Mr. David Malins, which 
included Schedel's Nuremberg Chroni- 
cle, 1492, one vol. ; Camden's Britan- 
nia, ed. Gibson, 1695, one vol. ; 
Ackermann's London, Westminster 
AbbL=^y, Universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge, &c. , ten vols. ; Works of 
Samuel Parr, 1828, eight vols. ; Illus- 
trated Record of European Events, 
1812-1815, one vol. ; Tliompson's Sea- 
sons, illustrated by Bartolozzi, and 
other works, seventy vols. ; Notes and 
Queries (complete set of five series), 
1850-78, fifty-seven vols. ; Dugdale's 
Warwickshire, 1656, and other books 
relating to Birniingiiam, Warwickshire 
and neighbourhood, seventy-four vols.; 
books printed liy Baskervilie,ten vols.; 
]^)irmingliam-priuted books, 203 vols. ; 
books on or by Birmingham authors, 
fifty-six vols. ; total, 491 vols. ; in addi- 
tion to a collection of about 600 por- 
traits, maps and views relating to 
Birmingham, Warwickshire and the 
neighbourhood, including sixty por- 
traits of Shakespeare. The Mancliester 
Town Council sent us from their Public 
Library about 300 volumes, among 
which may be named the edition of 
laarclay's Apology printed by Basker- 
ville (1765) ; a fine copy of the folio 
edition of Ben Johnson (1640) ; the 
Duke of Newcastle's New Jletbod to 
Dress Horses (1667) ; several volumes 
of the IVI ait land Club books, the cata- 
logue of the Harleiau MSS (1759) ; 
two tracts of Socinus (1618) ; the 
Foundations of Manchester (4 vols.) ; 
Daulby's Rembrandt Catalogue ; 



Weever's Funeral iloimmeiits (1631) ; 
Visconti's Egyptian Antiquities (1837); 
Heylyn's History of St. George 
(1633), and NichoU's History of Eng- 
lish Poor Law. Tiiere are also a con- 
siderable number of works of science and 
general literatureofa more modern date. 
The trustees of tlie British Mtiseum 
gave about 150 works, relating to 
Greek, Egyptian, Syriau, Phoenician, 
and other antiouities, to various de- 
partments of natural science, and other 
interesting matters, tlie whole con- 
stituting a valuable contribution to- 
wards the i-estored library. The 
Science and Art De[iartment of South 
Kensington sent a selection of cata- 
logues, chromo-lilhographs, books of 
etchings, photographs, &c. Dr. F. A. 
Leo, of Berlin, sent a splendid copy of 
his valuable facsimile of "Four 
Chapters of North's Plutarch," illus- 
trating Shakespeare's Roman plays, to 
replace his former gift-volume lost in 
the calamitous fire. The volume is 
one of twenty-four copies, and the 
learned Professor added a printed de- 
dication as a record of the fire and the 
loss. Di. Delius, of Bonn, Herr 
Wilhelm Oechelhaiiser, of Dessau, and 
other German Shakespeare authors sent 
copies of their works. Mr. J. Payne 
Collier oii'ered copies of his rare quarto 
reprints of Elizabethan books, to re- 
place those which had been lost. Mr. 
Gerald Massey oii'ered a copy of his 
rare volume on Sliakespeare's Sonnets, 
" because it is a Free Library." Mr. H. 
Reader Lack offered a set of the Patent 
Office volumes from the limited num- 
ber at his disposal as Chief of the 
Patent OHice. Dr. Kaines, of Trinder 
Road, London, selected 100 volumes 
from his library for acceptance ; Mrs. 
and Miss L. Toulmin Smith sent all 
they could make up of the works of 
Mr. J. Toulmin Smitli, and of his 
father, Mr. W. Hawkes Smith, both 
natives of our town ; Messrs. Low, Son, 
and Co., gave 120 excellent volumes; 
Messrs. W. and R. Chambers, Messrs. 
Crosby, Lock wood, and Co., and other 
publishers, valuable books ; Mr. James 



.SHOWELLa DICTIJNARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



131 



Coleman his "Index to Pedigisces, " 
' Sonieiset House Registers," and 
" Wi liani Penii Pe igtees ;" Miss N. 
Bradley (l>.ili) the new reissue ot Pro- 
fessor R iskin's worus ; Mr. H. W. 
Adnitt (S irewsliu y) his repri t of 
Gough's cmious " History of Mydd e, " 
and of Ciuuchyard's " Miserie • f 
Flaunders," and ■' T. e Fo r j\linisters 
of Salop : " Mr. H. F. Osle presented 
a fine collection of Art l)o:ik.s,ino nding 
Griiner's ^rea' w ik, and Mr. J. H. 
Stone made a valuable donation f the 
same kind. The above are mere it ms 
ill che iisc of g uerous do; ors, and 
gives but smal. ilea of ihe many 
ihousands of volumes which liave 
streamed in rom all parts. Many 
indeed ha>e be n t e valuiblu gd'ts 
and addiiions by ])urchase since the 
tire, one of ih- lite t being near y the 
whole of the a.m st pricel ss collection 
o*" Birmingham books, papers, &c,, 
belonging lo Mr. Sam. Timmins. Tlie 
sum of £1,100 was piid him ft,r a cer- 
tain portion of books, but the number 
he has gi en at vaiious tinie> isalmost 
past count. Imm '.iate s eps were 
taken after the lire to get the lending 
department of the Library into work 
again, and on tlie 9th of June, 1879, a 
commodious (though rather dark) read- 
ing room WdS opened in Eden Place, 
the Town Council allowing a number 
of rooms in the Municipal Buildings to 
be Used by the Libraries Committee. 
In a little time tiie nucleus of the new 
Reference gathering was also in liaiul, 
and for three years the institution 
sojourned with the Council. The new 
buildings were opened June 1st, 1882, 
and the date should be recorded as a 
day of rejoicing and thanksgiving. The 
Reference department wns opened to 
readers on th;: 26:11 of the same month. 
In place of the hire I rooms so long 
used as a library in Constitution Hill, 
there has been erected in the near 
neighbourhood a neat two-storey build- 
ing which \\ ill accommodate some 2,000 
readers per daj', and tlie shelves are 
supplied witli about 7,000 volumes. 
This new library was opened July 18, 



1883. To summarise this brief history 
of tiie Birmingliam Free Libraries it is 
well to state that £78,000 has been 
spent on them of wiiicii £3(3,392 has 
been for buildings. Tlie cost of the 
Central Library so far has been £5.5,000, 
the remaining £23,000 being the ex- 
penditure on the branch libraries. 
The present annual cost is £9.372, of 
which £3,372 goes for interest and 
sinking fund, so that an addition must 
soon be niaife to the Id. rate, which 
produces £6,454. The power to in- 
crease the rate is given in the last Act 
of Parliament obtained by the Corpora- 
tion. At the end of 1882 the Reference 
Library contained 50,000 volumes. 
The number of books in the Central 
Lending Library was 21,394, while the 
branch lending libraries contained — 
Constitution Hill, 7,815 ; Deritend. 
8,295; Gosta Green, 8,274; and 
Adderley Park, 3,122. The aggregate 
of all the libraries was 98,900 volumes. 
The issues of books during 1882 were 
as follows : — Reference Library, 
202,179; Central Lending Library, 
186,988 ; Constitution Hill, 73,705 ; 
Deritend, 70,218 ;;;Go^ta Green, 56,160; 
Adderley Park, 8,497 ; total, 597,747; 
giving a daily average of 2,127 issues. 
These figures are exclusive of the Sun- 
day issues at the Reference Library, 
which numbered 25,095. The average 
number of readers in the Reference 
Library on Sundays has been 545 ; and 
the average attendance at all the libra- 
ries shows something like 55,000 
readers per week, 133 different weekly 
and monthly periodicals being put on 
the tables for their use, besides the 
books. At a meeting of the School 
Board, June 4, 1875, permission was 
given to use the several infants' school- 
rooms connected with the Board Schools, 
as evening reading rooms in connection 
with the libraries. 

The Shakespeare Memorial Library, 
though to all intents and purposes 
part and parcel of the Reference 
Library, has a separate and distinct 
history. Mr. Sam. Timmins, who is 
generally credited with having (in 1858) 



132 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



first suggested the formation of a 
library, which should consist solely of 
Shakespeare's works, and Shakes- 
peareana of all possible kinds, said, at 
the tercentenary meeting, that the idea 
originated with George Dawson, but 
perhaps the honour should be divided, 
as their mutual appreciation of the 
greatest poet whose genius has found 
utterance in our language is well 
known. The first practical step taken 
was the meeting held (July 10, 1863) 
of gentlemen interested in the ter- 
centenary, for the purpose of con- 
sidering a proposal to celebrate that 
event by the formation of a Shakes- 
pearean library. The Rev. Charles 
Evans, head master of King Edward's 
School, presided. The following reso- 
lution, moved by Mr. G. Daw.son, 
and seconded by the Rev. S. Bache, 
was adopted : — " That it is desirable to 
celebrate the tercentenary of the birth 
of Shakespeare by the formation of a 
Shakesjiearean library, comprising the 
various editions of the poet's works, and 
the literature and works of art con- 
nected therewith, and to associate such 
library with the Borough Central 
Reference Library, in order that it 
may be permanently preserved." A 
hundred pounds were subscribed at 
this meeting, and a committee formed 
to proceed with the project. In a very 
few months funds rolled in, and 
Shakespeareans from all parts of the 
world .sent willing contributions to this 
the first Shakespearean library ever 
thought of. It was determined to call 
it a " Memorial " library, in hoaour of 
the tercentenary of 1864, and on the 
poet's day of that year, the library was 
formally presented to the town at a 
breakfast given at Nock's Hotel by 
the Mayol- (Mr. W. HoUi.-lay). Dr. 
Miller, George Dawson, M. D. Hill 
(Recorder), T. C. S. Kynnersley, R. W. 
Dale, Sam. Timmins. and others took 
part in the proceedings, and the 
Mayor, on behalf of the Free Libraries 
Connnittee, accepted the gift on the 
terms agreed to by the Town Council, 
viz., that the Library should be 



called "The Shakespearean Memorial 
Library," that a room should be 
specially and exclusively appropriated 
for the purposes thereof ; that the 
librar)'' should be under the same 
regulations as the Reference Library ; 
and that the Free Libraries' Com- 
mittee should maintain and augment 
it, and accept all works appertaining 
to Shakespeare that might be pre- 
sented, kc. As George Dawson pro- 
phesied on that occasion, the library 
in a few years become the finest col- 
lection of Shakespearean literature in 
Europe therein l)eiiig gathered from 
every laud which the poet's fame had 
reached, not only the multitudinous 
editions of his works, but also every 
available scrap of literature bearing 
thereon, from the massive folios and 
quaint quartoes of the old t'uies to 
the veriest trifle of current gossip 
culled from the columns of the news- 
papers. Nothing was considered too 
rare or too unimportant, so long as it 
had connection even remote to Shakes- 
peare ; and the very room (opened 
April 23, 1868), in which the books 
were stored itself acquired a Shakes- 
pearean value in its carved and elabo- 
rately-appropriate fittings. When 
started, it was hoped that at least 
5,000 volumes would be got together, 
but that number was passed in 1874, 
and at the end of 1»78 there were mon^ 
than 8,700, in addition to the books, 
pictures, documents, and relics con- 
nected with Stratford-on-Avon and her 
gifted son contained in the Staunton 
collection. How all the treasures 
vanished has alftady been told. Much 
has been done to replace the library, 
and many valuable works have been 
secured ; but, as the figures last pub- 
lished show, the new library is a long 
way behind as yet. It now contains 
4,558 volumes, valued at £1,352 9s. 
3d,, classified as follows: — English, 
2,205 volumes ; French, 322 ; German, 
1,639 ; Boliemian, 14 ; Danish, 25 ; 
Dutch, 68 ; Finnish, 4 ; Frisian, 2 ; 
Greek, 9 ; Hebrew, 2 ; Hungarian, 
44 ; Icelandic, 3 ; Italian, 94 ; Polish, 



SIIOWELLS UICTIONARY OF BIIIMINGHAM. 



133 



15; Portuguese, 3; Rouiuaniaii, 1 ; 
Kourneliaii, 1 ; Russian, 5(5 ; Spanish, 
18 ; Swe.lisli, 30 ; Ukiaine, 1 ; Wal- 
l;icliian, 1 ; and Welsh, 1. 

Librapies Suburban.— The rate- 
payers of the Manor of Aston aiiopted 
the Free Lilnaries Act, May 15, 
1877, and tlieir Library fornis^- part of 
the Local Board baihhngs in Witton 
Road. At the end of March, 1883, the 
number of volumes iu tiie reference 
library was 3,216, ami the issues during 
the year numbered 8,096. In the lend- 
ing department the library consists of 
5,58"2 volumes, and the total issues 
during the year were 74,483 ; giving a 
daily average of 245, The number of 
borrowers was 3,669. — Aston and 
Handsworth being almost part of Bir- 
mingham, it would be an act of kind- 
ness if local gentlemen having dupli- 
cites on their library shelves, would 
share them between tlie two. 

Hamlsworth Free Library was opened 
at the Local !>oard Offices, of which 
building it forms a part, on May 1, 
1880, with a collection of about 
5,000 volumes, which has since been 
increased to nearly 7,500. That the 
library is appreciated is shown bj' the 
fdct that during last year the issues 
numbered 42,234 volumes, the bor- 
rowers being 514 males and 561 females. 

Snuthwick Free Library and Reading 
Room was opened Aug. 14, 1880. 

Kings Norton. — In or about 1680, 
the Rev. Thomas Hall, B.D., founded 
a curious old Library for the use of 
the parishioners, and the books are 
preserved in the Grammar School, near 
the Cliurch. This is the earliest free 
library known in the Midlands. 

Licensed Vietualleps' Society. 

— See " Trade Protection Societies." 

Licensed Vietualleps' Asylum. 

— See ^' Philanthropical Institution-:." 

Licensed Vietualleps.— The fol- 

lowing table shows the number of 
licensed victuallers, dealers in wine, 
beer, &.C., in the borough as well as the 
holders of what are known as outdoor 
licenses : — 







1870 


687 


1871 


ti8:i 


1872 


084 


1873 


()S4 


1874 


tiSO 


187r) 


()7»i 


1876 


67.0 


1877 


673 


187S 


672 


1S711 


671 


1880 


670 


1881 


669 


1SS2 


670 



._, _. 




^ 






io 


"cS 


3 


'i-^ 


o 


m^ 


'o 


3 


~o 


o 

O 


11 f)6 


1853 


.337.982 






1I()5 


184S 


343,690 






1117 


1801 


349,398 




23 


lOS:? 


1767 


355,106 


4 


53 


lOSl 


1761 


360,814 


4 


53 


1057 


1733 


366,522 


7 


73 


10.09 


1734 


372,230 


171 


73 


1054 


1727 


377,938 


223 


74 


1016 


1718 


383,646 


334 


77 


1061 


1732 


389,354 


433 


61 


1060 


1730 


395,062 


454 


63 


1054 


1723 


400,774 


454 


55 


1054 


1724 


406.482 


459 


57 



Lifeboats. — In 1864-65 a small 
committee, composed of Messrs. H. 
Fulford, G. Groves, J. Pearce, D. 
Moran, G. Williams, R. Foreshaw, and 
G. Lempiere, aided l)y the Mayor and 
Dr. Miller, raised about £500 as a con- 
tribution from liirmingham to the 
Royal National Lifeboat Institution. 
Two boats were credited to us in the 
Society's books, one ciUed " Birming- 
ham " (launched at Soho Pool, Novem- 
ber 26, 1864), and the other the 
"James Pearce." These boats, placed 
on the Lincolnshire and Norfolk 
coasts, were instrumental in the saving 
of some hundreds of lives, but both 
have, long since, been worn out, and 
it is about tinre that Birmingham re- 
j)laced them. Messrs. C. and W. Bar- 
well, Pickfortl Street, act as local lion. 
sees. The "Charles Ingleby " lifeboit, 
at Hartle[)ool, was paid for, and the 
establishment for its maintenance en- 
dowed, out of the su!n of £1,700, con- 
tributed by 0. P. Wragge, Esq., in 
memory of the late Rev. Charles 
Ingleby. 

LiffOPd, in the parish of King's 
Norton, once boasted of a Monastic 
establishment, which was squelched 
by Bluff King Harry, the only remains 
now to be found consisting of a few 
more than half-buried foundations and 
watercourses. 

Lighting. —Oil lamps for giving 
light in the streets were in limited use 



134 



SHOWELL's dictionary op BIRMINGHAM. 



here^ in 1733, even before an Act was 
obtained to enforce payment of a rate 
therefor. Deritend and Bordesley ob- 
tained light by the Act passed in 1791. 
The Street Commissioners, Nov. 8, 
1816, advertised for tenders for light- 
ing the streets with gas, but it was 
nearly ten years (April 29, 1826) be- 
fore the lamps were thus supplied. 
The Lighting Act was adopted at Salt- 
ley April 1, 1875. Lighting the streets 
by electricity may come some day, 
though, as the Gas Works belong to 
the town, it will, doubtless, be in the 
days of our grandchildren. 

Lig'hting by Eleetpieity.— After 

the ver}' successful ajiplication of the 
electric light in the Town Hall on the 
occasion of the Festival in 1882, it is 
not surprising that an attempt should 
be made to give it a more extended 
trial. A scheme has been drawn out 
by the Crompton- Winfield Company 
for this purpose, and it has received 
the sanction of tlie Town Council, and 
l>een confirmed by the Board of Trad' , 
shopkeepers in the centre ot the town 
may soon have a choice of lights for the 
display of their wares. The area fixed 
by the scheme is described by the fol- 
lowing boundaries : — Great Charles 
Street to Congreve Street ; Congreve 
Street to Edmund Street ; E Imund 
Street to Newhall Street ; Newhall 
Street to Colmore Row ; Colmore Row 
to Bull Street ; Bull Street, High 
Street, New Street, Stephenson Place, 
Paradise Street, and Easy Row. The 
streets to be supplied with electric 
mains witliin two years are as follows : 
— Great Charles Street (to Congreve 
Street), Congreve Street, New Street, 
Stephenson Place, Easy Row, and 
Paradise Street. The Corporation are 
to have powers of purchasing the under- 
taking at the end of sixteen years — 
that is, fourteen years after the expi- 
ration of the two years' term allowed 
for the experimental ligliting of the 
limited area. The order, while fully 
protecting the rights of the public and 
of tlie Corporation, justly recognises 
the experimental character of the pro- 



ject of electric-lighting from a common 
centre, and is much more favourable, in 
many ways, to the promoters than the 
legislation under which gas under- 
takings are conducted. Whether this 
will tend towarMS reducing the price of 
gas remains to be seen. 

Ligrhtning- ConduetOPS were in- 
troduced here in 1765. 

Lindon.— The Minerva, in Peck 
Lane, was, circa 1835, kept by "Joe 
Lindon," a host as popular then as our 
moilern "Joe Hillman," up at "The 
Stores," in Pa'-adise Street. 

Litepapy Associations. — The 

Central Literary Association first met 
Nov. 28, 1856. The Moseley and Bal- 
sall Heath, Oct. 11, 1877. 

LivePy StPeet— So called from 
the Livery stables once there, opposite 
Brittle street, which is now covered by 
the Great Western Railway Station. 

Livingstone. — Dr. Livingstone, 
the African traveller, delivered an ad- 
dress in the Town Hall, October 23, 
1857. 

Loans. — According to thcRegistrar- 
GeneraFs late report, there were 380 
loan societies in the kingdom, who had 
among them a capital of £122,160, the 
members of the said societies number- 
ing 33,520, giving an average lending 
capital of £3 12s! 10|d. each. That is 
certainly not a very large sum to invest 
in the money market, and it is to be 
hoped that the score or two of local 
societies can show better funds. What 
the i)rotits of tliis business are fre- 
quently appear in the reports taken at 
Police Courts and County Courts, wliei e 
Mr. Cent.-per-Cent. now and then bash- 
fully acknowledges that he is some- 
times satisfied with a profit of 200 per 
cent. There arc respectable offices iu 
Biruiingham where loans can be ob- 
tained at « fair and reasonable rate, but 
Punch' s-Ai\\\cc to those about to marry 
may well be given in the generality 
of cases, to anyone thinking of visiting 
a loan office. YouTig men starting in 
business may, irnder certain conditions. 



SHOWELl's dictionary op BIRMINGHAM. 



135 



obtain help for tliat ])iupose from tlu' 
"Dudley Trust."— Sbo " FhUaiithro- 
pical Trusts." 

Loans, Public— EngHml, with 

its National Debt of £77(5,000,000, is 
about the richest country in the. world, 
and if the amount of indebtedness is 
the sign of pro^^perity, Birmingham 
must be tolerably well off. Uj) to the 
end nf 1882 our little loan account 
stood thus : — 





Borrowd 


Repaid 


Owing. 


Baths 


£fi2,4ii:. 


€27743 


£34,682 


Cemetery . . 


4(3,500 


19,3 n; 


27,184 


Closed BurialGr'nds 


10,000 


41 


9,959 


Council House 


13.5,T6-J 


10,208 


125,.554 


Fire ISri^aile Station 


6,000 


53 


5,947 


Free Libraries 


56,050 


7,534 


48,516 


Gaol 


92,350 


79,425 


12,925 


Industrial School.. 


l:;,710 


2,31U 


11,400 


Asylum, Wiiison Gn. 


100,000 


97,020 


2.980 


KuberyHill 


100,012 


5,ys7 


94,125 


Mark tHalUfe Marias 


186,04:i 


73,463 


113,479 


Mortuaries . . 


700 


;03 


597 


Parks 


63,210 


12,347 


50,863 


Paving reads 


158,100 


30,088 


128,012 


Paving'footways- . . 


7f,950 


8,113 


71,837 


Police Stations 


25,231 


9,S39 


15,392 


Public Office 


23,400 


14.286 


9,115 


Sewers & Sewerage 


30o,235 


81,338 


284,897 


Tramways .. 


65,450 


17,125 


48,325 


Town Hall .. 


69,521 


37,885 


31.636 


own Iniprovem nts 


348,680 


134,156 


214,524 




2,010,227 


668,278 


1,341,949 


Improvem't scheme 


1,534,731 


31,987 


1,502,744 


Gaswork.s . . 


2,184,186 


142,3,59 


2,041,827 


"Waterworks 


1,814,792 


5,086 


1,809,706 


Totals .. 


7,543,936 


847,710 


6,69G,226 



The above large total, however, does 
not show all tiiat was owing. The 
United Drainage Board have borrowed 
£386,806, and as Birmingham pays 
£24, 722 out of the year's expenditure 
of £3.3,277 of that Board, rather more 
than seven-tenths of that debt must be 
added to the Borough account, say 
£270,000. The Board of Guardians 
have, between June, 1869, and January, 
1883, borrowed on loan £130,093, and 
during same period liave repaid 
£14.808, leaving £115,28.') due by 
them, which must also be added to the 
list of the town's lebts. 

Local Acts.— There have been a 
sudicient number ot specially-local 



Acts of Parliament passed in connec- 
tion with this town to fill a law library 
of considerable size Statuti s, clauses, 
sections, and orders have followed in 
rapid succes.sion for the last generation 
or two. Our forefathers were satisfitd 
and gratified if they got a regal of 
parliamentary notice of this kind once 
in a century, but no sooner did the in- 
habitants find themselves under a 
" properly-constituted " body of "head 
men," than the lawyers' game began. 
First a law must be got to make a 
street, another to light it, a third to 
])ave it, and then one to keep it clean. 
It is a narrow street, and an Act must 
be obtained to widen it ; when widened 
some wiseacre thinks a market should 
be held in it, and a law is got for that, 
and for gathering tolls ; after a bit, 
another is required to remove the 
market, and then the street must be 
" improved," and somebody receives 
more pounds per yard than he gave 
pence lor the bit of ground wanted to 
round off the corners ; and so the Bir- 
mingham world wagged on until the 
towiibecamea big town, andcouldafford 
to have a big Town Hall when other 
big towns couldn't, and a covered Market 
Hall and aSmithtield of good size, while 
other places dwelt under bare skies. 
The Act by which the atithority of the 
Street Commissioners and Highway 
Surveyors was transferred to the Cor- 
poration was ]>assed in 1851 ; the ex- 
penses of obtaining it reaching nearly 
£9,000. It took effect on New Year's 
Day following, and the Commissioners 
were no longer "one of the powers that 
be," but some of the Commissioners' 
bonds are effective still. Since that 
date there have been twenty heal 
statutes and orders relating to the 
borough of Birmingham, from the 
Birmingham Improvement Act, 1851, 
to the Provisional Order Confirmation 
Act, passed in 1882, the twenty con- 
taining a thousand or more section.?. 
All this, however, has recently been 
altered, the powers that are now having 
(through the Town Clerk, ilr. Orl'ord 
Snuth) rolled all the old Acts into one, 



136 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



eliminating useless and obsolete 
clauses, and inserting others necessi- 
tated by our liigh state of advanced 
civilisation. The new Art, which is 
known as the Birmingham Corporation 
Consolidation Act, came into force 
January 1, 1884, and all who desire 
to master our local governing laws 
easily and completely had better pro- 
cure a copy of the book containing it, 
with notes of all tlie included statutes, 
compiled by the Town Clerk, and pub- 
lished by Messrs. Cornish, New Street. 

Local Epitaphs. — Baskerville, 
when young, was a stone cutter, and 
it was known that there was a grave- 
stone in Handsworth churchyard and 
anotlierinEdgbaston churchyard which 
were cut by liim. The latter was acci- 
dentally broken many years back, but 
was moved and kept as a curiosity 
until it mysteriously vanished while 
some repairs were being done at the 
church. It is believed tliat Baskerville 
wrote as well as carved the inscription 
which commemorated the death of 
Edward Richards who was an idiot, 
au'l died Sept. 21st, 1728, and that it 
ran thus : — 

" If iiinocents are the tav'rites of heaven, 
And God but little asks where little's given, 
Sly great Creator has for me in store 
Eteinal joys — What wise man can ask 
more ? " 

The gravestone at Handsworth was 
V under the chancel window," sixty 
years ago, overgrown with moss and 
weeds, but inscription and stone have 
long since gone. Baskerville's own 
epitaph, on the Mausoleum in his 
grounds at Easy Hill, has often been 
(juoted : — 

Stranger, 
Beneath this cone, in uneonsecrated ground, 
A friend to the liberties of mankind directed 

his body to be inuriied. 
May the example contribute to emancipate 

thy mind 
From the idle fears of Superstition, 
And tlie wicked Act of Priesthood ! 

Almost as historical as the above, is the 
inscription on the tombstone erected 
over Mary Ashford, at Sutton Cold- 
field :— 



As a Warning to Female Virtue, 

And a humble Monument of Female Chastity 

This Stone marks the Grave 

of 

Mary Ashford, 

Who, in the SOtli year of her age, 

Having incautiously lepaired 

To a scene of amusement 

Without pi'oper protection. 

Was brutally violated and murdered, 

On the Srtli May, 1817. 

Lovely and chaste as is the primrose pale. 
Rifled of virgin sweetness by the gale, 
Mary ! The wretch who thee remorseless 

slew, 
Will surely God's avenging wrath pursue. 

For, though the deed of blood be veiled in 

nisht, 
"Will not the Judge of all the earth do 

right?" 
Fair, blighted flower ! The muse, that weeps 

thy doom, 
Rears o'er thy sleeping dust this warning 

tomb ! 

The following quaint inscription ap- 
pears on the tombstone erected in 
memory of John Dowler, the black- 
smith, in Aston churcliyard : — • 

Sacred to the Memory of 

John Dowler, 

Late of Castle Bromwich, who 

Departed this life December 6th, 1787, 

Aged 42, 

Also two of his Sons, J.^mes and Charles, 

Who died infants. 

My sledge and hammer lie recbned, 
My bellows, too, have lost their wind 
My tire's extinct, niy forge decayed, 
And in the dust my vice is laid ; 
5fy coal is sjient, my iron gone, 
My nails are drove, my work is done. 

The latter part of the above, like the 
next four, has appeared in many parts 
of the country, as well as in the local 
burial grounds, from which they have 
been copied : — 

From St. Burtholomew's : 

" The bitter cup that death gave me 
Is passing round to come to thee.'' 

From General Cemetery : 

" Life is a city full of crooked streets, 
Death is the market-place where all men 

meets ; 
If life were merchandise which men could 

buy, 
The rich would only live, the poor would 

die." 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



137 



From Wittoii Cemetery : 

" O earth, O earth ! observe this well — 
Tliat earth to earth .sliall come to dwell ; 
Then earth in earth shall close remain, 
Till earth from earth shall rise again." 

From St. Philip's : 

"Oh, cruel death, how could you be sotinkind 
To take him before, and leave ine behind ? 
You should have taken bath of us, if either, 
^\hich would have been more jdeasing to 
the survivor." 

The next, upon an infant, is superior 
to the general run of thi.s class of in- 
scription. It was copied from a slab 
intended to be placed in Old Edgbaston 
Churcliyard : 

" Beneath this stone, in sweet repose, 

Is laid a mother's dearest pride ; 
A flower that scarce had waked to life, 

And light and beauty, ere it died. 
God and Hi.s wisdom has recalled 

The precious boou His love has given ; 
And though the casket moulders liere. 

The gem is sparkling now in heaven." 

Ramblers may find many quaint epi- 
taphs in ueiglibouriiig village church- 
yards. In Shustoke churcliyard, or 
rather on a tablet placed against tlie 
wall of the church over the tomb 
of a person named Hautbach, 
the date on which is 1712, 
there is an inscription, remark- 
able not only for lines almost iden- 
tical with those over Shakespeare's 
grave, but for couibining several other 
favourite specimens ot graveologieal 
literattire, as here bracketed : 

" AVhen Death shall cut the thread of life, 
Both of Mee and my living Wife, 
When please God our change shall bee. 
There is a Tomb (m- Mee and Shee, 
Wee fieely shall resign up all 
To Him who gave, and us doth call. 

_( Sleep here wee must, both in the Dust, 

"( Till the Resurrection of the Just. 

I Good friend, within these Railes forbear 

) To dig the dust enclosed here. 

j Blest bee the man who spares these stones 

( And Curst be he that moves our bones. 

/ Whilst living here, learn how to die ; 

) This benefit thoul't reap thereby : 

1 Neither the life er death will bee 

(.Grievous or sad, but joy to thee. 

J Watch thoue, and pray; tliy time well spend; 

( Unknown is the Iiour of thy end. 

( As thou art, so once were wee, 

( As wee are, so must thou bee, 

Dumspiramus Speramus. ' 



It is a collection of epitaphs in itself, 
even to the last line, wliich is to be 
found in Durham Cathedral on a 
"brass" before the altar. 

Local Landowners.— It is some- 
what a ditlicult matter to toll how 
much of the ground on which the town 
is built belongs to any one particular 
person, even with the assistance of the 
"Returns" obtained by John Bright 
of " the owners of land so called, pos- 
sessing estimated yearly rentals of 
£1,000 and upwards." That these 
"Returns" may be useful to biassed 
politicians is likely enough, as Lord 
Calthorpe is put down as owner of 
2.073 acres at an estimated renial of 
£113,707, while Mr. Muntz appears as 
owning 2,486 acres at an estimated 
rental^ of £3,948. His lordship's 
£113,707 "estimated" rental must 
be considerably reduced when the 
leaseholders have taken their share and 
left him only the ground rents. The 
other large ground landlords are the 
Trustees of the Grammar School, the 
Trustees of the Colmore, Good), Vyse, 
Inge, Digby, Gillot, Robins, and 
JIason estates, &c., Earl Howe, Lench's 
Trust, the Blue Coat School, &c. The 
Corporation of Biriningliani is returned 
as owning 257 acres, in addition to 134 
had from the Waterworks Co., but 
that does not include the additions 
male under the Improvemeiit Scheme, 
&c. The manner in which the estates 
of tiie old Lords of the J\Iauor, of the 
Guild of Holy Cross, and the posses- 
sions of the ancient Priorj, have been 
divided and portioned out by descent, 
marriage, forfeiture, plunder, and pur- 
chase is interesting matter of history, 
but rather of a private than public 
nature. 

Local Notes and Quepies.— The 

gathering of odd scraps of past local 
Jiistory, notes of men and manners of a 
bygone time, and the stray (and some- 
times strange) bits of folklore garnered 
alone in the recollections of greybeards, 
has been an interesting occupation for 
more than one during the past score or 



138 



SHOWBLl's dictionary op BIRMINGHAM 



two of years. The first series of "Local 
Notes and Queries " in our newspapers 
appeared in the Gazette, commtinciug in 
Feb., 1856, and was continued till 
Sept., 1860. There was a somewhat 
similar but short series running in the 
columns of tlie Journal from August, 
1861, to May, 1862. The Daily Post 
took it up in Jan., 1863, and devoted 
a column per week to ' ' Notes " up to 
March, 1865. resuming at intervals 
from 1867 to 1872. The series now(1884) 
appearing in the Weekly Post was com- 
menced on the first Saturday (Jan. 6) 
in 1877. 

Local Taxation.— See "Munici- 
pal Expenditure." 

Locks.— The making of locks must 
have been one of the earliest of our local 
trades, as we read of one at Throck- 
morton ot very quaint design, but rare 
workmanship, with the name thereon 
of "Johannes Wilkes, Birmingham," 
towards the end of the 17tli century. 
In 182i there were 186 locksmiths 
named in the Directory. 

Loclg-eP Franchise.- Considering 
the vast amount of interest taken in all 
matters connected with local Parlia- 
mentary representation, and the peri- 
odical battles of bile and banter earned 
on in the Revision Courts over the lists 
of voters, it is somewhat carious to 
note how little advantage has been 
taken of the clause in the last Reform 
Bill which I'ives the right of voting to 
lodgers. The qualitication required 
is simply tlie exclusive occupation of 
lodgings" which, if let unfurnished, are 
of tlie clear yearly value ol £10 ; 
and there must be many hundreds of 
gentle;nen in the borough residing in 
apartments who would come under 
this liead. Out of a total of 63,221 
electors in 18S3 there were only 
72 who had claimed their right to 
vote. In many other boroughs the 
same di.-crepaucy exists, though here 
and there the [.olitical wire-pullers have 
evidently seen how to use the lodger 
franchise to much better effect, as in 
the case of Worcester for instance, 



where there are 59 lodger voters out 
of a total of 6,362.— See " Parliainm- 
tary Elections.^' 

London 'Prentice Street, was 

called Western Street or Westley's 
Row on the old maps, its continuation, 
the Coach Yard, being then Fember- 
ton's Yard. How the name of London 
'Prentice Street came to be given to 
the delectable thoroughfare is one o^f 
•'those things no fei low canunderstand " 
At one time there was a .school-room 
there, the boys being taught good 
manners upstairs, while they could 
learn lessons of d.'pravity below. With 
the anxious desire of patting the best 
face on everything that characterises 
the present local " fathers of the 
people," the London 'Prentice has been 
sent to the right-about, and the nasty 
dirty stinking thoroughfare is now 
called "Dalton Street." 

Loveday Street, from Loveday 
Croft, a field given in Good Queen , 
P.ess's reign, by John Cooper, as a 
trysting-place for the Brummagem lads 
and lasses when on wooing bent. 

Low Rents. — Areturn of unassessed 
houses in the pirish of Birmingham, 
taken October 19, 1790, showed 2,000 
at a rental under £5, 2,000 others 
under £6, 3,000 under £7, 2,000' 
under £8, 500 under £9, and 500' 
under £10. 

LozellS.— In the lease of a farm of 
138 acres, sold by auction, June 24, 
1793, it was written "Lowcells." 
Possibly the name is derived from the 
Saxon "lowc" (hill) and "cole" (cold 
or chill) making it " the cold hill." 

Lunacy. — Whether it arises from 
political heat, religioits ecstacies, in- 
temperance, or the cares and worry of 
the universal hunt for wealth, it is 
certaiiily a painful fact to chronic'e 
that in proportion to population in- 
sanity is far more prevalent now than 
it was fifty years ago, and I'irmingham 
has no more share in such exces.s than 
other parts of the kingdom. Possibly, 
the figures show mure prominently 



SIIOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIMIINGUAM. 



139 



from the action of the wise rules that 
enforce the gathering of the insane 
into public institutions, instead of 
leaving the unfortunates to tlie care 
(or carelessness) of their relatives as in 
past days, when the wards of the poor- 
houses were the only receptacles for 
those who had no relatives to shelter 
them. The erection of the Borough 
Asylum, at Wuismi Green, was com- 
menced in 1846, and it was finislied in 
1851. The house and grounds covered 
an area of about twenty acres, the 
building being arranged to accommo- 
date 330 patients. Great as this num- 
ber appearetl to be, not many years 
passed before the necessity of enlarge- 
ment was perc'-ived, and, ultimately, 
it became evident the Winson 
Green estal)lishment must either be 
doubled in size or that a second Asylum 
must be erected on another site. An 
estate of 1.50 acres on the southeastHrn 
slopes of Rnbery Hill, on the right- 
hand side of the turnpike road from 
here to Bromsc;rovi', was purchased by 
the Corporation, and a new Asylum, 
which will accommodate 616 patients,' 
has there been erected. For the house 
and its immediate grounds, 70 acres 
have been aitportioned, the remainder 
being kept for the purposes of a farm, 
where those of the inmates tit for work 
can be employed, and where the sew- 
age from the asylum will be utilised. 
The cost of the land was £6,576 8s. 5d. , 
and that of the buildings, the furnish- 
ing, and tlie laying out of the grounds, 
£133,495 5s. 8d. The report of the 
Lunatic Asylums Committee for 1882 
state] that the numlier of patients, in- 
cluding thosy boarded under contract 
at other asylums, on the first of Jan., 
1882. was 839. There were admitte(l 
to Winson Green and Rubery Hill 
during the year 349. There were dis- 
charged during the year 94, and there 
died 124, leaving, on the 31st D.c. , 
970. The whole of the 970 were then 
at the borough asylums, and were 
chargeable as follows: — To Birmingham 
parish, 644 ; to Birmingham borough, 
8 ; to Aston Union, in the borough, 



168 ; to King's Norton, 16 ; to other 
unions under contract, 98 ; the remain- 
ing 36 patients not being paupers. The 
income of the asylums fir the year was 
— from Birmingham patients £20,748 
Is. 9.; from pauper patients under 
contract, and from patients notpiupers, 
£2,989 9s. 5d. ; fro-n iroods sold, £680 
Is. 5d. ; total, £24,417 12s. 7d. The 
expenditure on mainti'uance account 
was £21,964 4s., and on building 
capital account £2,966 7s. 7d. — 
total, £24,915 lis. 7d. ; showing a 
balance against the asylums of £497 
19s. The nett average weekly cost for 
tlie vear was 9s. 6id. per head. j\lr. E. 
B. Whitcombe, meilical superintendent 
at Winson Green, says that among the 
causes of insanity in those admitted it 
is satisfactory to note a large decrease 
ill the number from intemperance, the 
percentage for the year being 7 '7, as 
compared witli 18 and 21 per cent, in 
ISSl and 1880 respectively. The pro- 
]iortion of recoveries to admissions was 
in the males 27 7, in the femiles 36, 
and in tlie total 32 '3 percent. This is 
below the average, and is due to a large 
number of chronic and uni'avourable 
cases admitted. At Rubery Hill 
Asylum, Dr. Lyle reports that out of 
the first 450 admissions there were six 
patients discharged as recovered. — The 
Midland Counties' Idiot Asylum, at 
Knowle, opened in 1867, also finds 
shelter for some of Birmingham's un- 
fortunate children. The Asylum pro- 
vides a home for about 50, but it is in 
contemplation to consideralily enlarge 
it. At the end of 1882 there were 28 
males and 21 females, 47 being tlie 
average number of inmat<'S during the 
year, the cost per head being £41 
13s. 6d. Of the limited number 
of inmates in the institution no 
fewer than thirteen came from Bir- 
mingham, and altogethur as many as 
thirty-tive candidates had been elected 
from Birniingham. The income from 
all sources, exclusive of contributions 
to the building fund, amounted to 
£2,033 3s. 8d., and the total expendi- 
ture 'including £193 3s. 4d. written off 



140 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHA.M. 



for depreciation of buildino;s) to 
£1,763 los. 7d. , leavins a balance in 
hand of £269 8.s. Id. The fund which 
is being laised for the enlargement of 
the institution then amounted to £605 
15s., the sum required being £5,000. 
The society's cajiital was then £10.850 
12s. 8d. o'f which £7,358 12s. 5.1. had 
been laid out in lands and buildings. 
^Ir. Tait, the medical othcer, was of 
opinion that one-fourth of the children 
were capable of becoming productive 
workers under kindly (iirectioii and 
supervision, the progress made by some 
of the boj's in basket-making being very 
marked. 

Lunar Society.— So cUled from 

the meetings being held at the full of 
the moon that the members might 
have light nights to drive home, but 
from which tliey were nicknamed 
" tlie lunatics." Originally commenced 
about 1765, it included among its 
members Haskerville, Boulton, Watt, 
Priestley, Thomas Day, Samuel Gal- 
ton, R. L. Edgeworth, Dr. "Withering, 
Dr. Small, Dr. Darwin, Wedgwood, 
Keir, and indeed almost every man of 
intellectual note of the time. It died 
down as death took tlie leaders, but 
it may be said to have left traces in 
many learned .societies of later date. 

Luncheon Bars.— The honour of 

introducing the modern style of lun- 
cheon bar must ba awarded to the 
landlord of the Acorn, in Temple Street, 
who, having seen something of the 
kind in one of the Channel Islands, 
imported the notion to Birmingham. 
The lumber rooms and stables at back 
of his house were cleaied and fitted up 
as smoke rooms, and bre^d and cheese, 
and beer, &c. , dealt out over the 
countei. Here it was that Mr. Hill- 
, man took his degree as popular waiter, 
and from the .Acorn also he took a 
wife to help him start "The Stores," 
in Paradise Street. ]\lr. Thomas Han- 
son was not long behind Hillman 
before lie opened up " The Corner 
Stores," in Union Passage, following 
that with the " St. James " in New 



Street, and several others in various 
parts of the town. The "Bars" are 
now an "institution" that has be- 
come absolutelj' indispensable, even 
for the class who prefer the semi- 
privacy of the "Restaurants," as the 
proprietois of the more select Bars like 
to call their establishments. 

Magistrates.— By direction of the 
Queen's Council, in 1569, all magis- 
trates had to send up " bonds " that 
they would subscribe to the then re- 
cently passed Act for the Uniformity of 
Common Praj'ers and Services in the 
Church, and the Administration of the 
Sacraments. The local name of Middle- 
more appears among the few in this 
county who objected to do so, and most 
likely his descendants would do the 
same. The first twenty-five of our 
borough magistrates were appointed 
about nine weeks after the date of the 
Charter of Incorporation, 1839. In 
1841, 1849, 1856, and 1859, other 
gentlenren were placed on the roll, and 
in April, 1880, ten more names were 
added to the list, having been sent up 
to the Lord Chancellor a few days 
before he vacated office, by some know- 
ing gentlemen who had conceived a 
notion that the Conservative element 
was hardl}^ strong enough among the 
occupants of the Bench. There are 
now 52, in addition to the Stipendiary 
Magistrate and the Recorder, and as 
polities must enter into every matter 
connected with public life in Birming- 
ham, we record the interesting fact that 
31 of these gentlemen are Liberals and 
21 Conservatives. Mr. T. C. S. Kyn- 
nersley first acted as Stipendiar^'^, April, 
19, 1856. 

Magazines. — ^ee" Newspapers and 

Periodicals." 

Manor House. — How few of the 

thousands who pass Smithfield every 
day know that they are treading upon 
ground where once the Barons of 
Birmingham kept house in feudal 
grandeur. Whether the ancient Castle, 
destroyed in the time of Stephen, pre- 
occupied the site of the Alanor House 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



141 



(or, as it was of late years calletl — 
the iloat House), is more than anti- 
quarians have yet found out, any more 
than they can tell us when the latter 
building was erected, or when it was 
demolished. Hutton says: "The 
first certain account we meet of the 
moat (wliich surrounded the island on 
which the erections were built) is in 
the reign of Henry the Second, 1154, 
whenPeterdo Benningham, then lord of 
the fee, had a castle here, and lived in 
splendour. All the succeeding lords 
resided upon the same island till their 
cruel expulsion b}' John, Duke of 
Northumberland, in 1537. The old 
castle followetl its lords, and is buried 
in the ruins of time. Ui>on the spot, 
about fifty years ago [1730], rose a 
house in the modern style, occupied 
bj' a manufacturer (Thomas Francis) ; 
in one of the outbuildings is shown the 
apartment where the ancient lords kept 
their court leet. Tlie trench being filled 
with water has neatly the same appear- 
ance now as perhaps a thousand years 
ago ; but not altogether the same use. 
It then served to protect its master, 
but now to turn a thread mill." 
Moat Lane and Mill Lane are the only 
names by which the memory of the old 
house is now retained. The thread 
mill spoken of by Hutton gave place 
to a brass or iron foundry, and the 
property being ptirchased by the Com- 
missioners, the whole was cleared off 
the ground in 1815 or 1816, the sale of 
the building materials, &c. , taking 
place July 5, 1815. Among the "lots" 
sold, the iloat House and offices ad- 
joining realised £290 ; the large gates 
at the entrance with the brick pillars, 
£16 ; the bridge, £11 ; the timber 
trees, £25 ; a fire engine with carriage, 
&c., £6 15s. (possibly some sort of 
steam engine, then called fire engines) ; 
the total produce, including counting- 
house, warehouse, casting, tinning, 
burnishing, blacking, and blacksmiths' 
shops, a horse mill, scouring mill, 
and a quantity of wood sheds and pali- 
sading, amounted to nearly £1,150. 
The prosaic minds of the Commission- 



ers evidently did not lead them to value 
" the apartments whore the ancient 
lords kept their court," or it had 
been turned into a scouring or tinning 
shop, for no mention was made of it 
in the catalogue of sale, and as the old 
Castle disappeared, so did the Manor 
House, leaving not a stone behind. 
Mr. William Hamper took a skc^tch of 
the old house, in May, 1814, and he 
then wrote of the oldest part of the 
building, that it was "half-timbered," 
and seemingly of about Henry VIIL's 
time, or perhaps a little later, but 
some of tlie timbers had evidently been 
used in a former building (probably 
the old ilanorial residence) as the olil 
mortices were to be seen in several of 
the beams and uprights. The house 
itself was cleared away in May, 1816, 
and the last of the outbtiildings in the 
following month. So perfect was the 
clearance, that not even any of the 
foundations have been turned up dur- 
ing the alterations lately effected in 
Smithfield Market. In' 1746, the 
" manorial rights " were purchased by 
Thomas Archer, of Umberslade, from 
whose descendants they were acquired 
by the Commissioners, in 1812, under 
an Act of Parliament obtained for the 
purpose, the price given for the Manor 
House, moat, and ground, being 
£5,672, in addition to £12,500, for 
" nrirket tolls," &c. 

ManufaetUPes.— For a few notes 
respecting the manufactures carried on 
in Birmiugliam, see " Trades." 

Maps of Bipmingham.— West- 
ley's " Plan of Birmingham, .surveyed 
in the year 1731," is the earliest pub- 
lished map yet met with ; Bradford's 
in 1750, is the next. Hanson's of 
1778, was reduced for Hutton's work, 
in 1781. For the third edition, 1792, 
Pye's map was used, and it was added 
to in 1795. 1800 saw Bissett's " Mag- 
nificent Directory " ])ublished, with a 
map ; and in 1815 Kempson's survey 
was taken, and, as well as Pye's, was 
several times issued with sligiit altera- 
tions, as required. In 1825, Pigott 



142 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



Smith's valuable map, with names of 
landowners (and a miniature copy of 
Westley's in upper left-hand corner), 
was issued, and for many years it was 
the n)o.st reliable authority that coukl 
brt referred to. 1834 was prolilic in 
maps ; Arrowsmith's, Wrightson and 
Webb's, Guest's, and Hunt's, appear- 
ing, the best of tliem being the first- 
named. The Useful Knowledge So- 
ciety's map, with views of public 
buildings, was issued in 1844, and 
again in 1849. In 1S4S, Fowler and 
Sou pul)lished a finely-engraved map, 
6S^iii. by 50^iu., of the parish of 
Aston, with the Duddeston-cumNe- 
chells, Deritend, and Bordesley wards, 
and the hamlets of Erdingtou, Castle 
Bromwich, Little Broniwich, Saltley, 
and Wash wood Heath. Water Orton, 
and Witton. The Board of Health 
map was issued in 1849 ; Guest's re- 
issued in 1850; Blood's "ten-mile 
map" in 1853; and the Post-office 
Directory map in 1854. In the next 
>'ear, the Town Council street map (by 
Pigott Smith) was published, followed 
by Moody's in 1858, Cornish's and 
•Granger's in 1860, and also a corrected 
and enlarged edition of the Post-office 
Directory map. A variety, though 
mostly of the nature of street maps, 
have appeared since then, the latest, 
most useful, and correct (being 
brought down to the latest date) being 
that issued to their friends, mounted 
lor use, by Messrs. Walter Showell 
and Sons, at whose head offices in Great 
Charles Street copies can be obtained. 
— In 1882 the Corporation reproduced 
and issued a series of ancient and 
hitherto private maps of the town and 
neighbourhood, which are of great 
value to the histoiian and everyone 
interested in the land on which Bir- 
mingham and its suburbs arc built. 
The first of these maps in point of date 
is that of the Manor of Edgbaston 
1718, followed by that of the Manor 
of Aaton 1758, Little Bromwich 
Manor 1759, Bordesley Manor 1760, 
Saltley Manor 1760, Duddeston and 



Nechells Manors 1778, and of Bir- 
mingham parish 1779. The last- 
named was the work of a local 
surveyor, John Snape, and it is said 
that he used a camera obscura of his 
own construction to enable him to 
make his v^-ork so perfect that it served 
as correct guide to the map makers for 
fifty years after. 

Markets. — Some writers have dated 
the existence of Birmingham as a mar- 
ket town as l)eing prior to the Norman 
Conquest, charters (they say) for the 
holding of markets having been grant- 
ed by both Saxou and Danisli Kings. 
That market was held here at an 
early period is evident from the fact of 
the charter therefore being renewed by 
Richard I., who visited the De Ber- 
minghains in 1189. The market day 
has never been changed from Thursday, 
though Tuesday and Saturday besides 
are now not enough ; in fact, every day 
may be called market day, though Thurs- 
day attracts more of our friends from 
the country. The opening of Smith- 
field (May 29, 1817) was the means of 
concentrating tlie markets lor horses, 
pigs, cattle, sheep, and farm produce, 
which for years previously had been 
offi^red for sale in New Street, Ann 
Street, High Street, and Dale End. 
The Market tolls, for which £12,500 
was paid in 1812, produced £5,706 10s, 
5d. in the year 1840. 

Caltlc Market.— Vx\ov to 1769 cattle 
were sold in High Street ; in that year 
their standings were removed to Dale 
End, and in 1776 (Oct. 28.) to Derit- 
end. Pigs and sheep were sold in 
New Street up to the openii;g of Sndth- 
field. Some five-and-twenty years back 
a movement was set on foot for tlie 
removal of the Cattle Market to the 
Old Vauxhall neighbourhood, but the 
cost frightened the peojde, and the pro- 
ject was shelved. The "town im- 
provers " or to-day, who ]il ly with 
thousands of pounds as children used 
to do at chuck-farthing, are not so 
easily baulked, and the tsixpayeis will 
doubtless soon have to find the cash 



SHOWEI.LS DICTIONARY OF lilHMINGHAM. 



143 



for a very iiiucli lar<;er Cattle Market 
ill some other part oC the borongli. A 
site has iieeii iixeil upon in Rupert 
Street by the " louls in Coiiveiitioii," 
Imt u\) to now (Jlarch, 1885), the 
i|ue.-:tion is not quile settled. 

Corn Market. — The ancient market 
for corn, or " Corn Ciieaping," lormeu 
part of " le Bui ryng " which at one 
time was almost the sole place of traffic 
of our forefatliers. At first an open 
space, as the market f^ianted by the 
early Norman Kings grew in extent, the 
custom arose of seitin£; up stalls, the 
right to do which was doubtless bought 
of the Lords of the Manor. These 
grew into permanent tenements, and 
stallages, "freeboards," sliainbles, and 
even houses (some with small gardens 
abutting on the uiiienced cliurcbyard), 
gradually covered the whole ground, 
and it ultimately cost the town a large 
sum to clear it, the Coinmi-sioners, m 
1806-7, piying nearly £2r),000 for the 
purpose. The larmers of a hundred 
years ago used to asst-mble with their 
samnles of grain round the Old Cross, 
or High Cross, standing nearly oppo- 
site the present JIarket Hall steps, and 
in times of scarcity, when bread was 
dear, they needed the protection of 
special constables. 

Fish Market.— In April, 1851, the 
fishmongers' stalls were removed from 
C'le End, and the sale was confined to 
the Market Hall, but consequent on 
the increase of population, and there- 
fore of consumption, a separate market, 
at corner of IJell Street, was opened in 
1870, and that is now being enlarged. 

Hide and tikin 3Iarket. — The sale of 
these not particularly sweet-smelling 
animal products was formerly carried 
on in tlie open at Smithtield, but a 
special market for them and for tallow 
was opened May 25, 1850 ; the same 
building beiir:^ utilised as a wool mar- 
ket July 29, 1851. 

Vegetable Market, so long held in the 
Bull Ring, is now principally held in 
the covered portion of Smithtield, which 
promises to lae soon a huge wholesale 
market. 



Marriag-es.— This is the style in 
whicJi thrse interesting events used to 
chronicled ; — 

"Sept. 30, 1751. On Monday last, 
the Rev. Mr. "Willes, a relation of the 
Lord Chief Justice Willes, was married 
to Miss Wilkins, daughter ol an emi- 
nent grocer of this town, a young lady 
of sjreat merit, and handsome lortnne." 

" Kov. 23, 1751. On Tuesday last, 
was manied at St. Mary-le-Bow, in 
Cheapside, Mr. W, "Welch, an eminent 
hardware man of Birmingham, to Aliss 
Nancy Morton, of Sheffield, hii agiee- 
able j'ouDg lady, with a handsome for- 
tune." 

"June 4, 1772 (and not before as 
mentioned by mistake) at St. Philip's 
Church in this town, Mr. Thomas 
Snuillwood, an eminent wine merchant, 
to ]\liss Harris, a young lady of dis- 
tinguished accomplishments, with a 
fortune of +'1,500. " 

Masshouse Lane.— Takes its name 
from the Roman Catholic Chnich (or 
Mass House, as such edifices were then 
called) erected in 1687, and dedicated 
to St. Mary Magdalen and St. Francis. 
The ioundation stone was laid March 
23, in the above year, and on 16th 
August, 1688, the first stone of a 
Franciscan Convent was laiii adjoining 
to the Church, which latter was con- 
secrated Sept. 4. Tlie Church was 
95ft long by 33ft. wide, and towards 
the building of it and the Convent, 
James H. gave 125 "tuns of timber," 
which were sold for £180 ; Sir John 
Gage gave timber valued at £140 ; the 
Dowager Queen Catherine gave £10 
15s. ; and a Mrs. Anne Gregg, £250. 
This would appear to liave been the 
first place of worship put up here by 
the Romish Church since the time of 
Henry Vlil., and it was not allowed to 
stand long, for the Church and what 
part of tiie Convent was built (in the 
words of the Franciscan priest who laid 
the first stone) "was first defaced, and 
most of it burrent within to near ye 
valine of 4001b., by ye Lord Dellamor's 
order upon ye 26 of November, 1688, 
and ye day sevennight following ye 



144 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



rabble of Birmingham begon to piil ye 
Cliurcli and Convent down, and saesed 
not until they had pulled up ye lauda- 
tions. They sold ye materials, of 
which Tnany houses and parts of houses 
are built in ye town of Hirminghani, ye 
townsmen of ye better sort not resisting 
ye rabble, but quietly permitting, if 
not prompting them to doe itt." The 
poor priests found shelter at Harhorne, 
where there is anotlier Masshonse Lane, 
their " Masshonse " being a little 
further on in Pritchett's Lane, where 
for nearly a century the double work of 
conducting a school and ministering to 
their scattered Catholic flock was 
carried on, the next local place of wor- 
ship built hero being " St. Peters's 
Chapel," off Broad Street, erected about 
1786. It is believed that St. Bartholo- 
mew's Church covers the site of the 
, short-lived "Mass House." 

Masonic. — That the Freemasons 
are many among us is proved by the 
number of their Lodges, but the writer 
has no record throwing light on their 
past local history, though mention is 
found now and then in old newspapers 
of their taking part in the ceremonies 
attending the erection of more than 
one of our public buildings. Of their 
local acts of benevolence they sayeth 
naught, though, as is well-known, 
their charity is never found wanting. 
The three Masonic charitable insti- 
tutions which are supported by the 
voluntary contributions of the craft 
during 1883 realised a total income of 
£55,994 14s. 3d. Of this sum the 
boys' school received £24.895 7s. Id. ; 
the Benevolent Institution, £18,449 
6s. ; and the girls' school, £12,650 Is. 
2d. The largest total attained pre- 
vious to 1883 was in 1880, when the 
sum amounted to £49,763. The boys' 
school, which is now at the head of 
the list, is boarding, housing clothing, 
and educating 221 boys ; the Benevo- 
lent Institution, the second on the 
list, is granting annuities of £40 
each to 172 men and £32 each to 
167 widows ; and the girls' school 
houses, boards, clothes, and educates 



239 girls, between the ages of 
seven and sixteen. The boys leave 
school at flfteen. During the year 
£8,675 has been granted to 334 cases 
of distress from the Fund of Bene- 
volence, which is composed of 4s. a 
year takan from every London Mason's 
subscription to his lodge ami 2s. a 
year from every country Mason's sub- 
scription. The local lodges meet as 
follows : — At the Masonic Hall, Neir 
Street : St. Paul's LoJge, No. 43 ; the 
Faithful Lodge, No. 473 ; the Howe 
Lodge, No. 587 ; the Howe R. A. 
Chapter ; the Howe Mark Master'.s 
Lodge ; the Howe Preceptory of 
Knight Templars ; the Temperance 
Lodge, No. 739 ; the Leigh Lodge, 
No. 887 ; the Bedford Lodge, No. 
925; the Bedford R.A. Chapter; the 
Grosvenor Lodge, No. 938 ; the Gros- 
venor R.A. Chapter ; the Elkington 
Lodge, No 1,016 ; the Elkington R.A. 
Chapter ; the Fletcher Lodge, No. 
1,031 ; the Fletcher R.A. Chapter ; 
the Lodge of Emulation, No. 1,163 ; 
the Forward Lodge, No. 1.180 ; the 
Lodge of Charity, No. 1,551 ; ami the 
Alma Mater Lodge, No. 1,644. Atthc 
Masonic Hall, Secern Street : TheAthol 
Lodge, No. 74 ; the Athol R.A. Chap- 
ter ; the Athol Mark Master's Lodge ; 
and the Lodge of Israel, No. 1,474. 
At the Great Western Hotel : The Lodge 
of Light, No. 468; the R A. Chapter 
of Fortitude ; and the Vernon Cliapter 
ofS.P.KC. of H.R.D.M., No. 5. At 
the Holte Hotel, Aston: The Holte 
Lodge, No. 1,246. 

Matches. — Baker's are best, the 
maker says. Lucifer matches were the 
invention of a young German patriot, 
named Kammerer, who beguiled his 
time in prison (in 1832) with chemical 
experiments, tliough a North of Eng- 
land apothecary. Walker, lays claim to 
the invention. They were tiist made 
in Birmingham in 1852, but they 
have not, as yet, completely driven 
the old-fashioned, and now-despised 
tinder-box out of the world, as many 
of the latter are still manufactured in 
this town for sundry foreign parts. 



SHOWELl's DICTIJNARY op BIRMINGHAM. 



145 



Mecca. —The late Mr. J. TI. 
Chambeikii), sliortly before his death, 
said that he looked upon Biriuiugham, 
" perhaps with a foolish pride," as the 
Holy City, the Mecca of England ; 
where life was fidler of possibilities of 
uiility — happier, broader, wiser, and 
a thousand times better than it 
was in any other town in the United 
Kingdom. 

Mechanical Eng"ineei's. — The 

Institution of .Mechanical Eu^ineers 
was organise I in this town, in October 
1847, but its headquarter.^ were re- 
moved to Loudon, in 1877. 

Mechanics' Institute.— The pro- 
posal to loim a local institution of a 
popular nature, for the encouragement 
of learning among our workers, like 
unto others which had been estab- 
lished in several la'ge places el.'-ewhere, 
was published in June, 1825, and 
several meetings were held before 
December 27, when officers were 
chosen, and entry mide of nearly 200 
members, to start with, the subscrip- 
tion being 5/- per quaiter. The for- 
mal opening took place March 21, 
1826, the members assembling in 
Mount Zion Chapel, to hear an address 
from Mr. B. Cook, the vice president. 
The class-rooms, library, and reading- 
rooms, were at the school attached to 
the Old Meeting House, and here the 
Institution, to far as the conduct of 
classes, and the imparting of know- 
ledge went, thrived and prospered. 
Financially, however, though at one 
rime there were nearly 5C0 members, 
it was never sticcessful, possibly 
through lack of assistance that might 
have been expected fiom the manu- 
fa^'tu'crs and large emploj^ers, for, hide 
it as we may, with a f-w honouiable 
exceptions, tuat class, fifiy years ago, 
preferred strong men to wise ones, and 
rather set their ba ks against opening 
the doors of knowledge to their work- 
peojde, or their children. It was a 
dozen years before the Institution 
was able to remove to a home of 
its ov.-n in Newhall Street, but 



it rapidly got into a liopeless state of 
debt. To lessen this incubus, and pro- 
vide fun<is for some needed alterations, 
the committee decided to hold an 
exhibition of " manufactures, the line 
arts, and oljects illustrative of experi- 
mental philosophy, &c." The exhibi- 
tion was opened Dec. 19, 1839, and in 
all ways was a splendid success, a 
fairly-large sum of money being 
real'sed. Unfortunately, a second 
e.vhibition was held in the following 
ycirs, when all the profits of the former 
were not only lost, but so heavy an 
addition made to the debt, that it may 
be said to have ruined the institution 
completely. Creditors took possession 
of the ])remises in January, 1S42, and 
in June operations were suspended, 
and, notwithstanding several attempts 
to revive the institution, it died out 
altogether. As the only popular 
educational establishment open to the 
young men of the time, it did good 
work, many of its pupils having made 
their mark in the paths of literature, 
art, and science. 

Medical Associations.— Accord- 
ing to the " Medical Register" there are 
35 phj'sicians and 210 surgeons resi- 
dent in the borough, and there are 
rather more than 300 chemists and 
druggists. According to a summary 
of the census tables, the medical pro- 
fession "and their subordinates " nnm-. 
her in Birnmigham and Aston 940, of 
whom 376 are males and 564 females. 
In 1834, at Worcester, under the 
presidency of Dr. Johnson, of this 
town, the Provincial Medical and 
Surgii-al Association was formed for en- 
couraging scientific research, improving 
the piactice of medicine, and g^neially 
looking after the interests of tiie pro- 
fession. In 1856 the name was 
changed to The Briti-h Medical As- 
sociation, with head offices in London, 
bat prior to that branches had been 
established in various large towns, the 
Birmingham and Midland Counties' 
branch being foremost, holding its 
first meeting at Dee's Hotel, in Decem- 
ber, 1854. The society has now about 



146 



SHOWBLl's dictionary op BIRMINGHAM. 



9,000 members, with a reserve fund of 
£10,000 ; in the lo 'al branch there are 
359 nieinbers, who subsciibe about 
£150 per annum, — The Birmingliam 
Medical Institute was lannched Feb. 
5, 1876, but the question of admitting 
homeopathists as members waa nearly 
the upsetting of the craft at the 
first meeting ; tlianks to the sails 
being trimmed witli a little common 
sense, however, the difficulty was tided 
over. The opening of the Insti- 
tute in Edmund Street took place 
December 17, 1880. The cost of the 
building was ahout £6,000, and the 
purposes to which it is applied are the 
providing accommod-ition for meetings 
of the profri.-siou and the housing of 
the valuable medical libiaiy of over 
6,000 books. As something worthy of 
note, it may be mentioned that the 
Institute was opened tree from debt, 
the whole cost being previously sub- 
scribed. 

Memorials and Monuments.- 

See ^^ Statues," <Cr. 

Men of Worth.— The "Toy- 

sho]) of the Worhi," the home of 
workers, free from the blue blood 
of titled families, and having but 
few reapers of " unearui'd increment," 
is hardly the place to look for " men 
of worth or v.ilue" in a monetary 
point of view, but we have not been 
without them. A writer in Gazette, 
September 1, 1828, reckoned up 120 
inhabitants who were each worth over 
£10,000 each ; 50 worth over £20,000; 
16 worih over £50,000 ; 9 worth over 
£100,000 ; 3 worth over £200,000 ; 2 
worth over £300,000 each, and 1 worth 
over £400,000. Taking certain In- 
come Tax Returns ami other informa- 
tion for his basis, another man of figures 
in 1878 made calculations showing that 
there were then among ns some 800 
persons worth more than £5,000 eacli, 
200 worth over £10,000, 50 worih over 
£20,000, 35 worth over £50,000, 26 
worth over £100,000, 12 woith over 
£250,000, 5 worth over £500,000, and 
2 worth over or near £1,000,000 each. 



Mercia. — In 585, this neighbour- 
hood formed part of the Heptarchic 
kingdom of Meicia, under CriJda ; in 
697, Mercia was divided into four dio- 
ceses ; this district being included iu 
that of LicliHeld ; in 878, Mercia was 
merged in the kingdom of England. 
According to Bode and the Saxon 
Chronicles, Beorned was, in 757, king 
of Mercia, of which Bit mingham formed 
part, and ia Canute's reign there was 
an Earl Beorn, the king's nephew, and 
it has been fancifully suggested that in 
this name Beorn may he the much- 
sought root for the etymology of the 
town's name. Beorn, or Bern, being 
derived from bcr, a bear or boar, it 
might be arranged thusly : — 

Ber, bear or boar ; inovg, many ; Tumi, 
ilwelliiig — tlie whole maliing Bcr- 
vucnijhuin, (he dwelling of mauy 
bears, or the home of uiauy pigs ! 

Metehley Camp. — At Metchley 

Park, about three miles from town, 
near to Harborne, there are the re- 
mains of an old camp or station which 
Hutton attributes to " those pilfering 
vermin, the Danes," other writers 
thinking it was constructed by the 
Romans, but it is hardly possible that 
anundertakirg r«t|uiring such immense 
labour as this must have done, could 
have been overlooked in any history of 
the Roman occupation. More likelj' 
it was a stronghold of th3 native 
Britons who opjiosed their advance, a 
sncerstition bjrne out ))y its being ad- 
jacent to their line of Icknield Street, 
and near t!ie heart of England. From 
a measurement made in 1822, the 
camp appeals to have covered an area 
of about 15^ acres. Huitnn gives it as 
30 acres, and describes a third embank- 
ment. Tlie present outer vallum was 
330 yircis long ly 228 wide, and the 
inteiior camp 187 yanis long by 165 
wide. The ancient vallum and fosse 
have sufi'. red much by the lapse of 
time, by the occupiers partially level- 
ling the ground, and by the passing 
through it of the Worcester and Bir- 
nriugham caual, to make the banks 



SH0WELL8 DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



147 



of which the southern extremity of 
the camp was completely destroyed. 
Some few pieces of amient weapons, 
swords and bittle-axes, and portions 
of bucklers, have heeu found here, but 
nothing of a distinctively Roman or 
Danish cliaractei-. As the fortifu'a- 
tion was of such great size and strength, 
and evidently formed for no mere 
temporary occupation, had eitlicr of 
those passers-by been the constructors 
we shouhl natmally have expected that 
more positive trac-s of their nationality 
would have been found. 

Methodism. — The introduction 
here must date from Weslev's first visit 
in March, 1738. In 1764, Moor Street 
Theatre was taken as a meeting ])lace, 
and John Wesley opened it March 21. 
The new sect afterwards occupied the 
King Street Thettre. Hutton says : — 
"The Methodists oceuit'ed fur many 
years a place in Steelhouse Lane, 
wlicre the wags of the age ob;eived, 
'they were eaten out by the bugs.' 
They tlicrefore procured the cast-off 
Theatre in Moor Street, Avhere they 
continued to t-xliibit tid 178'2, when, 
qnitliug the stage, they erected a sup- 
erb meeting house in Clierry Street, at 
the expense of £1,200. This was 
opened, July 7, by John Wesley, the 
chief priest, whose exten-ive knowledge 
and unblemi hed niannHrs give us a 
tolerable pi'-tnre of ajiostolic purity, 
who believed as if he were to be .'aved 
by faith, an I who lab)ured as if he 
were to be saved by works." Tiie note 
made by Wrsley, who was in his 80th 
year, respeciing the opening of (Jlieiry 
Street Cli'ipHl, has bee'i preserved. He 
says: — "July 6th, 1782, I came to 
Birmingham, and preached once more 
in the old ilieiry preachiug-honse. 
The next day I opened the new house 
at eight, and it contained the people 
well, but not in the eveiuiig, many 
mora then constrained to go away. In 
the middle of the sermon a huge noise 
was heard, c^n-e 1 by the breaking of a 
bench on which some people stood. 
None of them were hurt ; yet it occa- 
sioned a general panic at first, but in a 



few minutes all was quiet." Four years 
after the opening, Wesley preached in 
the chapel again, and found great 
prosperity. "At first," he wrote, 
" the preaching-house would not near 
contain the congregation, Afcerwards 
I administered the Ijord'a Supper to 
about 500 communicants. " Old as he 
then was, the ap;istle of Methodism 
came h re a time or two after that, his 
la-it visit being in 1790. Many 
talented men have since served the 
Wesleyan body in this town, and the 
society holds a str>iiig position among 
onr Dissenting brethren. The minutes 
of the Wesleyan Conference last issued 
give the following stvtiscics of the 
Birmingham and Shrewsbury District : 
— Church members, 18,875 ; on trial 
for membership, 1,537 ; members of 
junior classes, 2,143 ; number of 
ministerial class leaders, 72 ; lay 
class leaders, 1,269 ; locil or lay 
preachers, 769 (the la'-gest num- 
ber in any district except Nottingham 
and Derby, which has 798). Tiiere are 
40 circuits in the district, of whicli 27 
report an increase of membersliip, and 
13a decrease. — See ^'Places of IVor- 
sJiip." 

Methodism, Primitive. — The 

origin of the Primitive Methodist 
Connexion dates from 1808, and it 
sprung solely from the custom (intro- 
duced by Lorenzo Dow, from America, 
in the previous year) of holding "camp 
meetings," which the Wol.iyan Con- 
ference decided to be " highly im- 
proper in England, even if allowable 
in America, and likely to be proilnctive 
of considerable mischief," expelling 
the preachers who conducted tliem. 
A new society was the result, and the 
first service in this town was held in 
Moor S.reet, in the open air, nf-ar to 
the Public Office, in the summer of 
1824. The first "lovefoast" took 
place, March 6, 1825, and the first 
" camp meeting," a few months later. 
A circuit was formed, the first minister 
being the Rev. T. Nelson, and in 
1826, a chapel was opened in Bordoa- 
ley Street, others following in duo 



148 



SHOWBLL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



course of time, as the Primitives in- 
creased ill mimber. The Binniiigham 
circuit coutaius about 800 members, 
with over 2,000 Suuday School 
scholars, and 250 teachuis. — See 
'^Places of JV or ship." 

Metric System.— This, the sim- 
plest deeiniHl system of computation 
yet legalised is in use in France, Bel- 
gium, Holland, Itaij^ Spain, and other 
parts of Europe, as well as in Chili, 
Peru, Mexico, &c. , and by 27 and 28 
Vic, cap. 117, its rise has been ren- 
dered legal in this country. As our 
local trade with the above and other 
countries is increasing (unfortunately in 
some respects), rules for working out 
the metric measures into English and 
vice versa may be useful. The unit of 
length is the metre (equal to 39 '37 
inches) ; it is diviiled into tenths (de- 
cimetres), hundredths (centimetres), 
and thousamiths (millimetres), and it is 
multiplied by decimals in like way into 
hectometres, kilometres, and myrio- 
metre-:. The unit of weight is the 
gramme, divided as the metre into 
decigrammes, centigrammes, and milli- 
grammes ; multiplied into decagram- 
mes, hecto^-'rammes, and kilogrammes. 
The unit of capa'ity is the litre, di- 
vided and multiplied like the others. 
1 inch equals 2^ centimetres. 
1 foot equals 3 decimetres. 
1 mile eqnals If kilometres. 
1 cwt. equals 50*8 kilogrammes. 

1 ounce (troj) equals 31 grammes. 

1 pound (troy) equals 372 decagram- 
mes. 

1 gallon equals 4^ litres. 

1 quart equals IjV litres. 

1 metre equals 39 37 inches. 

1 hectometre equals 109^ yards. 

1 cubic metre equals 61,027 cubic 
inches. 

1 kilometre equals 1,093 yards. 

1 decigramme equals 1^ grains. 

1 gramme equals 15 grains. 

1 kilogramme equals 2? pounds (avoir- 
dupois). 

1 litre equals 1| pints. 

To turn inches into millimetres add 

the figures 00 to the number of inches, 



divide by 4, and add the result two- 
fifths of the original number of inches. 

To turn millimetres to inches add the 
figure and divide by 254. 

To make culiic inches into cubic 
centimetres multiply by 721 and divide 
by 44 ; cubic centimetres into cubic 
inches multiply by 44 and divide by 
721. 

To turn grains into grammes, mul- 
tiply the number by 648 and divide the 
product by 10,000. 

To turn giammes into grains, mul- 
tiply by 10,000, dividing the result 
by 648. 

The metric system is especially use- 
ful in our local jewellery and other 
trades, but it is veiy slowly making its 
way against the old English foot and 
yard, even such a learned man as 
Professor Rankine poking fun at the 
foreign measures in a comic song of 
which two veraes run : — 

Some talk of iiiillinictres, and some of kilo- 
grammes, 

And .some of dccillitres to measure beer and 
drams : 

But I'm an English workman, too old to go 
to school, 

So by jiounds I'll eat, by quarts I'll drink, 
and work by my iwo-foot rule. 

A party of astronomers went measuring of the 

earth, 
And forty million metres they took to be its 

girth ; 
Five hundred million inches now go through 

from pole to pole. 
So we'll stick to inches, feet, and yards, and 

our own old two-foot rule. 

Mid-England.— Meriden, wear Co- 
ventry, is believed to be about the 
centre spot of England. 

Midland Institute.— Suggestions 

of some such an institution, to take the 
place of the defunct Jlechanics', had 
several time appeared in print, but 
nothing detinite was done in the matter 
until the subject was discussed (June 
4, 1852) over the dinner table of 
Mr. Arthur Ryliud. Practical shape 
being given to the ideas then advanced, 
a town's meeting on Dec. 3, 1853, 
sanctioned the grant by the Council of 
the land uecehsary for the erection of a 



SHOWELLS DICTIOMAIiY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



149 



proper buildin!,', ami aa Ai;t of Incor- 
poration was obt lined in tlie following 
Parliamentary session. In December 
1854, Charles Dickens gave tliree read- 
inf.'s in tlie Town Hall, in l)elmlf of tlio 
building fund, whereby £227 13.s. 9d. 
was realiseil, tl'e donations then 
amounting to £8,467. Tiie founda- 
tion stone was laid by Prince Albert, 
on Nor. 22, 18.55, an 1 the contract 
for the first pure of the building given 
to Messrs. B.-anston and Gwjnher for 
£12,000. The lecture theatre was 
opened Oct. 13, 1857, when aldresses 
were delivered by Lord Brougham, 
Lord Russei!, and Lord Statiley, the 
latter delivering the prizes to the stu- 
dents who had attended the classes, 
which were first started in October, 
1854, at the Philosophical Institute. 
In 1859, the portrait of David Cox 
was presenteil to the Institute, 
forming the first contribution to 
the Fine Art Ga'lery, which was 
built on portion of the land oiigiiially 
given to the Institute, the whole of the 
buildings being designed by Mr. E. M. 
Barry. The anioun'; subscribed to the 
buihiing fund was about £18,000, and 
the cost, including furniture aii'l ap- 
paratus more thin £16,000. Great 
extension has been ma^le since then, on 
the Paradise Street .--ide, and mmy 
thousands spent on the enlargement, 
branch classes b.ing also held at several 
of tiie Board Sch'>ols to relieve the 
pressure on th-^ Institute. In 1S64, 
the members of tbe Institute nitmbered 
660, and the students 880, with an 
income of £998 ; in J^nuaty, 1874, 
there were 1 591 me-n^'er-;, 73 J family 
ticket holders 2,172 st ideuts, and an 
income of £2,580. At the end of 
1833, the number of" anntiil subscribers 
was 1,900, and IrcturH ticket-holdeis 
838. In the Indnstriil De artment 
there were4, 334 ^tiidnts ; the Arclneo- 
logical Section nnni))eied 226 members, 
and the mns cal Section 183. 108 
students attended the Laws of Health 
classes, 220 the Lad'es classes, and 36 
the classes for prepirati^n fur matricu- 
lation. The benefits derived from the 



establishment of the Midlancl Insti- 
tute, and the amount of useful, practi- 
cal, and scientific knowl'dge di.ssami- 
nated by meius of its classes among 
the intellitjeat working m^n of the 
town and the rising g-neration, is in- 
calculable. These clii.sses, many of 
which are open at the low fee of Id., 
and some others speoiilly for females, 
now nclude the whole of the (oUowing 
subjects :--EnL;lis'\ linyuagH and litera- 
ture, Eiig'ishliistory, French, G^-ruian, 
Latin, Greek, and Spanish, alg^-bra, 
geometry, mensuration, trignometr}'', 
and arithmetic, music, drawing, writ- 
ing, Englisli ;;ratnmar, and composition, 
botany, chemistry, experiiueiital pliy- 
sics, practical mecdianics, and metal- 
lurgy, elementary singing, physical 
geography, animal physiology, ueidogy, 
practical plane and solid geomi'try, &c. 
The general position of the Institute 
with regird to finance was as follows : — 
Gross receipts in General Di partnient, 
£3,281 5s. 6d. ; expenditure in tiiisde- 
partuiont (including £993 Is. 6d. defi- 
ciency at the close of the year 1882), 
£3,088 17.S. 21. ; bilanee in favour of 
the General Depirtment, £192 8-.. 4d. 
Gross receipisin Industrial D.-pai tnient, 
£1,747 13s. ; ex[)eiidiuire in thisdefiart- 
raent,£3,l73 7s. lOd. ;deli.jien.;y,£l,425 
14s. lOd., met by a transfer trom the 
funds of the General Dot)artinent. The 
total result of the year's operations in 
both departmeiit.s left a deficiency of 
£1,233 6s. 6 1. The amount due to ban- 
kers ou the General Fund was £863 13s. 
6d ; and the amount stiiuiing to the 
credit of the Institute ou tlie Repairs 
Account is £140 12s. 2d. It is much 
to be regretted that there is a total 
debt on the Institute, amounting to 
£19,000, the paying of lute est; on 
wliicli sadly retanls its usefulness. 
Many munificent donations have been 
male to tha funds of the In.stitute from 
time to time, one being the sum of 
£3,000, given by an anonymous donor 
in 186 , "in memory of Arthur Kyi md." 
In A n,"i>.t, .same yctr, it was announ- 
ced that the late Mr. Alfred Wilkes 
had bequeathed the bulk of his estate, 



150 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



estimated at about £100,000, in trust 
for his two sisteis daring their lives, 
with reversion in equal shares to the 
General Hospital wnd the Midland In- 
stitute, bi-'ing a deferred benelactiou of 
£50,000 to each. 

Midland MetPOpoliS. —Birming- 
ham was so entitled because it was tiie 
largest town, and lias more inhabi- 
tants than any town in the centre of 
England. To use a Yanketism, it is 
"tliehub" of the Kingdom ; here is 
the throbbing heart of all that is 
Liberal in the polilical life of Europe ; 
this is the workshop of the world, the 
birth-spot of the steam-engine, and 
the home of mock jewellery. In all 
matters ])olitical, social, and national, 
it takes tlie lea'l, and if London is the 
Metropolis of all that is effete and aris- 
tocratic, Birmingham has the moving- 
power ot all that is progresi-ive, re- 
cuperative and advancing. When 
Macaulay's New Zealander sits sally 
viewing the silent ruins of the once 
gigantic city on the Thames, he will 
have the consolation of knowing that 
the pulse-beats of his progenitors will 
still be found in the ^Mid-England 
Metro[)olis, once known as the town of 
Burningsham or Birmingham. 

Mild Winters.— The winter of 
1658-9 was very mild, there being 
neither snow or frost. In 1748 honey- 
suckles, in fall bloom, were gathered 
near Worcester, in February. In the 
first four months of 1779 there was not 
a day's rain or snow, and on the 25th 
of March the cherrj, ])lum, and pear 
trees were in full bloom. An extra- 
ordinary mild winter was that of 1782- 
3. A lose was plucked in an open gar- 
den, in New Street, on 30th December, 
1820, lu December, 1857, a wren's 
nest, with two eggs in it was found 
near Selly Oak, and ripe raspberries 
were gathered in the Christmas week 
at Astwood Bank. The winter of 
1883-4 is worthy of note, tor rose trees 
were budding in December, lambs 
frisking about in January, and black- 
birds sitting in February. 



Milk.— The reports of the Borough 
Analyst f.)r several successive years, 
1879 to 1882, showed that nearly one- 
half the samples of milk examined 
were adulteratrfd, the average adultera- 
tion of each being as mucli as 20 per 
cent. ; and a calculation lias been made 
that the Brums pay £20,000 a year for 
the water added to their milk ! Next 
to the bread we eat, there is no article 
that should bo kept freer from adul- 
teration than mi.k, and the formation 
of a Dairy Company, in April, 1882, 
was hailed as a boon by many. The 
Com])anystarted witha nominal capital 
of £50,000 in £5 shaie^, and it rigidly 
pro-eeutes any farmer who puts the 
milk of the " wooden cow " into their 
cans. 

MinorieS. — Once known as Upper 
and Lower Minories, the latter n-tme 
being given to what, at other times, 
has been called " Peinberton's Yard" 
or the "Coach Yard." The names 
give their own meaning, the roads 
leading to the Piiory. 

Mints. — See " Trades." 

MiSSionapy WOPk.— Abouta mil- 
lion and a (jiiaiter sterling is yearly 
contributed in England to P'oreign, 
Colonial, and Home Missionary Socie- 
ties, and Birn.ingham sends its share 
very fairly. The local Auxiliary, to the 
Church Missionary Society, in 1882, 
gathered £2,133 8s. 6d. ; in 1883 (to 
June both years) it reached £2,774 
17s. 8d., of which £2 336 6s lid. was 
from collections in the local churches. 
The Auxiliary to the London iMission- 
ary Society gathered £1,050, of which 
£991 was collected in churches and 
chapels. Tiie Ba|)tist Missionary So- 
ciety was founded in October, 1792, 
and branch was started here a few 
months afterward-*, the first fruits 
totting up to the very respectable 
amount of £70. A branch of the 
Wesleyau Missionary Society was 
formed here in 1814 "lor the Birming- 
ham and Shrewsbury district, and the 
amounts gathered in 18S2 totalled 
£4,829 10s. 3d. To the Society for 



SnOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



lal 



promoting Cliristianity among the 
Jews, the Rirmui^'liain Aiixili^iries in 
1883 sent £323. There are also Auxilia- 
ries of the Churoli of England Ziuana, 
of the South Ameiicm, and of one 
or two other Missonarj' Societies. 
The Rev. J. B. Barmdile, wlio died in 
China, early in 1879, while relieving 
sutlerers from famine, was educated at 
Spring Hill C>dlege. He was sent ont 
by the London Mis!-i mary Society, and 
his death was preceded by that of his 
wife and only child, who died a few 
weeks before iiim, all from fever ciught 
while helping poor Chinamen. 

Moated Houses.— Tne Pirsonage, 

as well as the Manor House (as noted 
elsewhere), were each surrounded by its 
moat, and, possibly, no portion of the 
United Kingdom conld show more 
family mansions, and country resi- 
dences, protected in this manner, than 
the immediate district surrounding 
Birmingham. JIany more or-less-pre- 
served specimen* of tliese old-fashioned 
honses, with their water guards round 
them, are to be met with by the 
rambler, as at Astwood Bink, Eiding- 
ton, Inkberrow, Yardley, Wyrley, &c. 
Perhaps, the two best are ilaxtoke 
Castle, near Coleshill, and the New 
Hall, Sutton Coldtield. 

Modern Monastepies — The 

foundation-stone of St. Thomas's 
Priory, at Erdington, for the accom- 
modation of the ilonks of the Order 
of St. Benedict, was laid on Aug. 5, 
1879, by the Prior, the Rev. Hilde- 
brand de Hemptinne. Alter the date, 
and the realer might fancj' himself 
living in Mediaeval times. 

Monument — The high tower erec- 
ted near the Reservoir has long borne 
the name of •' The Monument," though 
it has been said it was built more as a 
strange kind of pleasure-house, where 
the owner, a Jlr. Perrott, could pass 
his leisure hours witnessing coursing 
in the day-time, or making astronomi- 
cal observations at night Hence it 
was ofcen called " Perrotl's Folly." It 
dates from 1758 —See also '^Statues," 
kc. 



MoodyandSankey.— These Ame- 
rican Evangtdi-ts,or Revivalists, vi-ited 
here in Jiu. 187o, their first meeting 
being held in the Town Hill, on the 
17th, the remiiud'r of th'dr services (to 
Februarj' 7) bjing g ven in Bingley 
Hall. They came also in February, 
1883, wh n the last-named place again 
acommodated them. 

MOOP Street.— Rivalling Elgbas- 
ton Street in its anti(juity, its name has 
long given rise to del)ate as to origin, 
but the most likely solution of the 
puzzle is this : On the sloping land 
near here, in the 14th century, and 
perhaps earlier, there was a mill, prob- 
ably the Town Mdl, and bv the con- 
traction of the Litin, ALoUiuliiuiria, 
the miller wou'd be called John le 
Molenlin, or John le Monl. The 
phonetic .-tvle of writing by sound was 
in great mea-ured pnctised by the 
scriveners, and tlius we rtmi, as time 
went on, the stnu^t of the mill became, 
ilout, Miule, Mowle, Molle, Moll, 
Jlore, and Moor Street. A stream 
crossed the street near the Woolpack, 
over which was a wooden bridge, and 
further on was another bridge of more 
substantial character, cillel "Cirter's 
Bridge." In fl )od times. Cars Lane 
also brought fron the hiLrher lands 
copious streams of water, and the keep- 
ing of M')or Street tidy often gave cause 
to mention these spots in old records, 
thus : — 

.£ s. .1. 
1637— Paid Walter Taylor for riikling 

the gutters in M )i>r Street 11 
1665— Zacliary GisVioiiie 42 loails of 

iiniiid out of M lore Street.. 7 
1676 — J. Bridgens keepiiige o])en 
passage and tourneing water 
from Oars Lane tleit it did 
not runne into More Street 
for a yeare . . . . ..040 

169S — Paid mending Carter's Bridge 

timber and worke .. ..050 

1690— John, for mending MooreStreet 

Bridg 10 

Moor Street, from the earliest date, 
was the chosen place of residence for 
many of the old families, the Cirless, 
Smilbroke, Ward, Sh-ldon, Fiavell, 
Stiduiau, and other names, continually 
cropping up in deeds ; some of the 



152 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



rents paid to the Lord of the Manor, 
contrasting cnriousiy with the rentals 
of to-day. For three properties ad- 
joining ill More Street, anu which were 
so paid until a comparatively modern 
date, the rents were : — 

"One pouiie of pepper by Goldsmytlie and 

Lencli, 
Two piiuuds of pepper by the master of the 

Gih!, 
One pound of cumin seed, one bow, and six 

barbed bolts, or anow heads by John 

Sheldon." 

Moseley. — One of the popidar, and 
soon will be populons suburbs, con- 
nected as it is f-o closely to us by 
Balsall Heath. It is one of the old 
Domesday-mentioned s})ots, but has 
little history other tliau connected 
with the one or two families who chose 
it for their residence a^es ago. It is 
supposed the old church was erected 
prior to the year 1500, a tower 
being added to it in Henry VIII. 's 
reign, but the parish register dates 
only from the miiidle of last century, 
possibly older entries b^ing made at 
King's Norton (from which Moseley 
was ecclesiastically divided in 1852). 
Moseley does not appear to have been 
named from, or to have given name to, 
any particular family, the earliest we 
have any note about being Greves, or 
Grevis, who.'-e tombs are in King's 
Norton Church, one of the epitaphs 
being this : — 

" Ascension day on ninth of May, 
Third year of King James' reine, 
To end my time and steal my Cdiu, 
I Williatn Greves was slain. 1005." 

Hutton says that the old custom of 
" heriot " was practised here ; which is 
not improbable, as instances have 
occurred in neighbourhood of Broms- 
grove and other parts of the count}' 
within the past few years. This relic 
of feudalism, or barbarism, consists of 
the demamling for tlie lord of the 
manor the best movable article, live 
or dead, that any tenant happens 
to be possessed of at the time of his 
death. 

Moseley Hall. — Hutton relates 



that on July 21, 1786, one Henshaw 
Grevis came before him in tlie court 
of Requests, as a poor debtor, who, 
thirty years b fore, he had seen "com- 
jiletely mounted and dressed in green 
velvet, with a hunter's cap and girdle, 
at the head of the pack." This poor 
fellow was the last member of a family 
who had held the IMo'-eley Hall estate 
from the time of the Conquest. In 
the riots of 1791 the Hall was burnt 
down, being rebuilt ten years after. 

Motheping- Sunday, or Mid-Lent 

Sunday, has its p-'culiaiities according 
to districts. In Ijirminghain the good 
people who like to keep up old cus- 
toms sit down to veal and custard. 
At Draycot-le- Moors they eat pies made 
of tigs. The practice of visiting the 
parents' home on this day was one of 
those old-time customs so p .pularinthe 
days of our grandfathers and great- 
grandfathers (but which, with many 
otiurs have fallen hito disuse), and 
this is supposed to have given rise to 
the " Mothering Sunday" name. Prior 
to the Reformation, the Catholics kept 
the day as a holy day, in honour of the 
Mother of Jesus, it being a Protestant 
invention to turn the fast-day into one 
of feasting. 

Mount Misery.— At the close of 

the great war, which culminated at 
Waterloo, it was long before the bles- 
sings of peace brougiit comfort to the 
homes of tlie poor. The first eflects 
of the sheathing of the sword was a 
collapse in prices of all kinds, and a 
geneial stagnation of trade, of which 
Birmingham, made prosperous through 
the demand for its gun«, &c., 
felt the full force. Bad trade was fol- 
lowed by bad harvests, and the com- 
mercial history of the next dozen 
years is but one huge chronicle of 
disaster, shops and mills closing fast, 
and poverty following faster. How to 
employ the hundreds of able-bodied 
men dependent on the rates was a 
continual puzzle to the Overseers, until 
someone, wise in his generation, hit 
upon the plan of paying the unfor- 



SHOWELL's dictionary op BIRMINGHAM. 



153 



tunates to wheel sand from the bank 
then in front of Key Hill House up 
to the canal siile, a liis'ance of H 
miles, the payment being at the rate 
of one penny per borrow load. This 
fearful *'lal)our test" was continued 
for a long time, aiid wlien we reckon 
that each man would I'ave to wheel 
his harrow backwards and forwards for 
nearly 20 miles to eun a shilling, 
moving more than a ton of sand in 
the process we cannot wonder at the 
place receiving sucli a woeful name as 
Mount Misery. 

M.P.'S fOP Borough. —See " For- 
liamentarij." 

Mules. — • These animals are not 
often seen about town now, but in 
the politically-exciting days of 1815 
they apparently were not strangers in 
our streets, as ^Ir. Richard Spooner 
(who, like our ge ial Alderman Avery, 
was fond of "tooling" his own cattle), 
was in the habit of driving his own 
mail-drag into town, to which four 
mules were hariiessid. AVith I\Ir. 
Thomas Potts, a well-to-do merchant, 
a "bigoted Baptist," and ultra- 
Radical, Mr. Spooner and Mr. T. 
Attwood took part in a deputation to 
London, giving occasion to one of the 
street-songs of the daj' : — 

" Toraniy Potts lias gone to town 
To join the (leputati.m ; 
He is a man of great renown, 
And tit to save the nation. 

Yaiiliee doodle do, 
• Yankee doodle dandy. 

Dicky Spoonei-'s also there, 

And Tom the Banker, too ; 
If in glory they slionld share, 
We'll sing tiiem 'Cock-a dnodle-doo.' 
Yankee doodle do, 
Y'ankee doodle dandy. 

Dicky Spooner is Dicky Hinle, 
Ti)m Attwood is Tnni Fool; 
And Potts an emjity kettle, 
With lots of bl.^h and rattle. 

Yaiiuee doodle do, 
Yankee doodls dandy." 

Another of the doggerel verses, 
slluding to Mr. Spooner's mule?, ran — 



" Tommy Potts wnnt up to town, 
Bright Tom, who all snrpasses, 
Was drawn by hmses out of town, 
And in again l)y asses. 

With their Yankee doodle do, 
Yankee doodle dandy." 

Municipal Expenditure.— For- 
tunately till populati ■n of iJiiniiiigham 
is going ahead rapiily, and the nure 
the children multiply the more 
" luads of families " we may naturally 
hope there will be noted down as rate- 
payers by the heads of the gather-the- 
tin ofiice. The cost of governing onr 
little town is not at all heavy, and 
when divided out at per head of the 
inhabitant-* it seems I'ut a meie baga- 
telle. Mr. J. Powell Williams, Avho 
takes credit for being a financier and 
man of figures, said in 18S4 that the 
totals of our municipal expenditure 
for the past few years were as fol- 
lows : — 

In lS7!t it was £354,000 or 18/3 per head 



18S0 „ 


343,ti00 , 


, lV/5 


1881 „ 


3(n,.j00 , 


, 18/0 


1882 „ 


374,000 , 


, IS '4 


18S:i „ 


385,000 , 


. lS/7 


1SS4 „ 


385,000 , 


, 18/3 



The bachelors who live m apartments 
will surely be tempted to begin house- 
keeping when they see how low a sum 
it takes to pay for all the blessings 
conferred upon us by a Liberal Corpo- 
ration ; but what the Pater of half-a- 
dozen olive branches may think about 
the matter is altogether a different 
thing, especially when he finds that to 
the above lS/2 per head must be added 
2/7^ per head tor the School Board, 
and Is. 2<1. per head for the Drainage 
Board, besides poor-rates. Government 
taxes, gas, water, and all these other 
little nothings that empty the jmrse. 

Murder and Manslaughter.— 

It would be too black a catalogue to 
give all the horrible cases of this nature 
which the local journals have chronicled 
in past years, those here noted being 
only ."-uch as have a certain historical 
interest. 

"Tom and Jack." — ''See Execu- 
tions." 



154 



BHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



Sergean t William Cavtwright, of 
the CoLlsfream Guards, was killed in 
Townsend's Yard by a deserter, Sep- 
tember 13, 1796. 

A desperate attempt was male to 
murder a young woman in Bull Street 
in the evening of a fair day, Juue 9, 
1797. 

Philip Matsell was hanged August 
22, 1806, at the bottom of Snow Hill, 
for attempting to murder a watchman. 
— See ' ' Executions. " 

A Mr. Pennington, of London, was 
murdered at Vauxhall, Feb. 6. 1817. 

Ashford, Mar}', May 27, 1817, mur- 
dered at Sutton Ooldfield. 

F. Adams was murdered by T. John- 
son, in London 'Prentice Street, Aug. 
5, 1821. 

Mr. R. Perry was killed in Mary Ann 
Street, by Michael Ford, December 6, 
1825. Execution, March 7, 1826 

J. Fitter was tried and acquitted 
August 11, 1834, on a charge of having 
murdered Margaret Webb, in Lawley 
Street, on 7th April preceding. 

Mr. W. Painter, a tax collector, was 
robbed and murdered in the old Par- 
sonage grounds (near what is now the 
bottom of Worcester Streetl, February 
17, 1835. 

William Devey murdered Mr. Daven- 
port in a shop in Snow Hill, April 5, 
1838. 

Mrs. Steapenhill shot by her hus- 
band in Heneags Street, January 7, 
1842. 

Mrs. Davis killed bv her husband in 
Moor Street, March, 1848. 

Mrs. Wilkes murdered her four 
children in Cheapside, Octobpr 23, 
1847 ; also comnitting suiciiie. 

Francis Price was executed at War- 
wick, Anrrust 20, 1860, for murdering 
Sarah Pratt, April 18. 

Elizabeth Brooks was shot by Far- 
quhar, at Small Heath, August 29, 
1861. He was sentenced to imprison- 
ment for a long term, but was liberated 
in April, 1866. 

Thompson, Tanter Street, killed his 
wife, September 23, 1861 ; hung 
December 30. 



Henry Carter, aged 17, who had 
killed his sweetheart, was hung April 
11, 1863. 

George Hill shot his unfaithful wife 
on Dartmouth Street Bridge, February 
16, 1864, and was sentenced to death, 
but reprieved. He was released March 
5, 1884. 

JIurder and su'cide in Nursery Ter- 
race, November 28, 1866. 

Mr. Pryse was murdered by James 
Scott in Aston Street, April 6, 1867. 

Mary Milbourn was murdered in 
Hencage Street, January 21, 1868, 

Murder and .suioid.) in Garrison 
Street, November 25, 1871. 

Richard Smith was killed by his fel- 
low-lodger, in Adam Street, January 
7, 1872. 

Thomas Picken, of St. Luke Street, 
killed his wife, January 22, 1872. He 
was found next morning hanging to a 
lamp-post, at Camp Hill Station. 

Jeremiih Corkery stibbed Policeman 
Lines, March 7 ; was condemned to 
death July 9, and hung July 27, 1875. 

Patrick O'Donnghue was kicked and 
killed at the Fi^ying Horse, Little 
Hampton Street, August 7, 1875. 
Moran and Caulfield, the kickers, were 
sent to penal servitude for ten years. 

A woman, resisting indecent assault, 
was thrown into the canal, October 3, 
1875, and died from effects. 

Emma Luke, Hop^ streat, killed her 
infant and herself, tober 23, 1875. 

Simuel Toiid, a deaf-mute, killed 
William Brislin, in a fit of passion, 
December 31, 1875. — Fifteen years' 
penal servitude. 

George Uudeihill shot Alfred Price, 
in Stephenson place, January 12, 1876, 
being in drink at the time, and think- 
ing he was going to be robbed. Price 
died, and Underbill was imprisoned 
for twelve months. 

Frederick Lipscombe killed his wife 
because she did not get his meals ready 
to the time he wished, July 18, 1876. 

Miry Siunders, Aston, had her 
throat cut by F. E. Baker, her lodger, 
January 16, 1877. He was hung 
April 17. 



SHOWELL'h dictionary op BIRMINGHAM. 



155 



John Nicholson killed Miry (or 
Minnie) Fanthain, inNavigition Street, 
February 23rd, 1877, conunitting sui- 
cide himself. He was buried as a felo 
dc se. 

Francis ilason, Litinier Street, 
stabbed his wife, June 25, 1867, but 
the jury callc i it mansUughter, and 
he was allowed to retire for tivo years. 
William Toy, a glasscutter, was 
killed in the Plasterers' Arms, Lupin 
Street, July 20, 1878, in a drunken 
row. 

Edward Johnson, a retired butcher, 
of this town, killed his wife and 
drowned himself at Erdington, July 27, 
1878. 

Sarah Alice Vernon, married woman, 
aged 26, was first stabbed and tiien 
flung into the canal, at S|>riiig Hill, by 
lier paramour, John Ralph, a hawker 
of fancy basket.*, early in the morning 
of May 31, 1879. He was hung 
August 26, 

Caroline Brooks, a young woman of 
20, was fatally stabbed on the night of 
June 28, 1879, while walking with her 
sweetheart, but the man who killed 
her escaped. 

Alfred Wagstaffe, of Nechell's Green, 
kicked his wife f t pawning his shirt, 
on October 25, 1879. She died a week 
alter, and he was sent to penal servi- 
tude for ten years. 

An Irishmtn, named John Gateley, 
was shot en Saturday, December 5, 
1880, in a beerhouse at Solihull, by a 
country man who got away ; the mur- 
dered man had been connected with the 
Irish Land League. 

Mrs. Ellen Ja^ikson, a widow, 34 
yeais of age, through poverty and des- 
pondency, poisoned herself and two 
children, 'gei seven and nine, on 
Sunday, November 27, 1881. One 
child recovered. 

Frederick Sarnian, at the Four 
Dwellings, near Saltley, Nov. 22, 1883, 
shot Angelina Yarwoud, and poisoned 
himself, becinsi the woman would not 
live longer with him " to be clemmed." 
James Lloyd, Jan. 6, 1884, stabbed 
his wife Martha, because she liad not 



met him the previous afternoon. 
She died four d lys after, and he was 
sentenced to death, but reprieved. 

Mrs. P-ilmer an i Mrs. Stiwirr were 
shot bv Henry Kiniberlevat the White 
Hart, Paradise Street, D !0. 28, 1884. 
Mrs. Palmer died, and Kiniberluy was 
hung at Winson Green, March 17, 1885. 

James Davis, policeman, wliile on 
his belt at Alvecliurch, was murdered 
Feb. 28, 1885, by Mo-es Shriniuton, a 
Birmingham poai her and thief. 

Elizibeth Buntin?, a girl of 16, was 
murdered at Hauds.vortii, April 20, 
1885, by her uncle. Thorn is Boulton. 

Museums.— No place in England 
ought to have a better collection of 
coins and medals, but there is no Nu- 
mismatic Museum in Birmingham. 
Few towns can show such a list of pa- 
tentees and inventors, bu: we have no 
Patent Museum wherein to preserve 
the outcome of their i(b.as. Tiiough 
the town's very name cannot be traced 
through the mis s of dim antiquity, 
the must ancient thing we can show is 
the Old Crown public-house. Romans 
and Noinnu'^, Britons and Saxons, 
have all tro I the same ground as our- 
selves, but we preserve no relics of 
them Though we have suiiplied the 
whole earth with firearms, it was left 
to Mr. Marshall, of Leeis, to gather 
together a Gun Museum. p\)rtHnately 
the Guardians of the Proof House were 
liberal and, buying the collection for 
£1,550, nude many valuable additions 
to it, and after exhibiting it for a time 
at 5, Newhall Sireet, presented it to 
the town in Atigust, 1876. There is a 
curious miscellany of articles on exhi- 
bition at Aston Hall, which some may 
call a " Museum," and a few cates of 
birds, sundry stuffed animals, &c. , but 
we must wait until the Art Gallery 
now in course of erecti >n, is finished 
before the Jlidland iletropolis can 
boast ff owning a real Museum. 
At various times, some rich ex- 
amples of industrial art have 
been exhibited in the temporary 
Art Gallery adjoining the Midland 
Institute, and now, in one of the rooms 



156 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



of the Free Library, there are sufficient 
to form tlie nm lens of a good ^luseiim. 
We iTiav, therefore, hoi>e that, in time, 
we shall have a collection that we may 
be proud of. Mr. Joseph Chamberlain 
(April 26, 1875) gave £1,000 to pur- 
chase objects of industrial art, and it 
has been expended in the purchase of 
a collection of gems and precious 
stones, than which n thing could be 
more suitable in this centre of the 
jewellery trade. Possibly, on the 
opening of the new Art Gallery, we 
shall hear of other " thousands " as 
forthcoming. 

Musical Associations. — There 

were, of course, the choirs attached to 
the churches previous, but the earliest 
Musical Soc'ety is believed to be that 
established by James Kenip=on, in 1762, 
at Cooke's, in the Cherry Orchard, and 
the founding of which led to the 
Musical Festivals. The members met 
for practice, and evidently enjoyed 
their pipes and glasses, their nightly 
song being : — 

"To our Musical Club here's long life and 
prosperity ; 

May it flourish with us, and so on to pos- 
terity. 

May concord and harmony always abound. 

And division here only i . music be found. 

May tlie catcli and the glass go about a' d 
about. 

And another succeed to the bottle that's out '' 

This society was appropriately known 
as the JMu-ical and Amicable Society 
from which spruncr the Choral Society 
in 1776, though the present Festival 
Choial Society only claims to be in 
its thirty eighth year. The Birming- 
ham Mi-Ksical Society dates from 1840 ; 
the Amateur Harmonic Association 
from Januar}^ 1856 ; tlie Edghaston 
Musical Uni.n from 1874; and the 
Philharmonic Union from 1870. The 
Church Schools Choral Union, the 
Sunday Schools Union Festival Choir, 
and the Birmingham Musical Asso- 
ciation, with one or two others, are the 
progeny of later vears ; the last on the 
list of musical institutions being the 
Clef Club (in Exchange Buildings), 



established March 21it, 1882, for the 
promotion of musical culture by "pro- 
viding a central resort for the study 
and practice of vocal and instrumental 
music, with the social advantages of a 
club." 

Musical Festivals.— The credit 

of suggesting the first Musicil Festival 
in aiil of the funds of the General 
Hospital, his been assigned to Mr. 
Kempson a local musician, who, with 
his fiiends, fonueil a Glee and Catch 
Club at Cooke's, in the Cherry 
Orchard. The minutes-book of the 
Hospital under date of May 3, 1768, 
records that a resolution was passed 
that "a mu-ical entertainment" should 
be arranged, and it was held accor- 
dingly on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of 
September in that year, part of the 
performances taking place at St. 
Philii)'s Church, and part at the Thea- 
tre, then in King Street, the Festival 
being wound up with a ball " at 
Mrs. Sawyer's, in the Square, " 
Church, Theatre, and Ball was the 
order of the dav for many succeeding 
Festivals, the Town Hall, which may 
be said to have been built almost pur- 
posely for these performances, not 
being ready until 1834. The Theatre 
was only utilised for one evening each 
Festival after until 1843, when three 
concerts were held therein, but since 
that date the Town Hall has been found 
suflicient. The Festival Balls were 
long a great attraction (no less than 
1,700 attending in 18341, but, possibly 
fiom a too free admixture of tlie gene- 
ral public, the aristocratic patronage 
thereof graditally de dined until 1858, 
when on! y 300 tickets having been taken, 
the Ball night wis struck out of the 
future programmes. Tiie first Festival 
performances were b}'' purely local 
artistes, and on several 0;^.casion8 after- 
Avanls they formed the bulk of the 
performers, but as the fame of our 
Festivals increased so did the inflow of 
the foreign element until at one period 
not more than half-a-dozen local names 
could be found in anj' programme. 
This has been altered to a considerable 



SHOWELI/S DICriONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



157 



extent of late years, so mucli so that 
at the last Festival nearly tlie wiiole 
of the chorus of voices was coinposeil 
of members of our local Musical 
Societies, and a fair sprinkling of the 
iustrumentiii-ts a'so. A big book 
would be rcciuired for a full history ot 
tlie Birmiiij^ham Trienniil Festivals, 
descriptive of their rise and progress, 
the hundreds of uiiiscil novelties in- 
troduce!, the many scores of tale ited 
artistes wlio have taken (i*rt«, tlie lords 
and ladies who have attended, and the 
thousand odd notes appertaining to 
them all. In the following notes are 
briefly chronicled the "til^st appear- 
ances," kc, with the results and other 
items for reference. 

1768, Sept. 7 to 9. The oratorios of 
"II Penseroso " and "Alexander's 
Feast " were performed at the Theatre 
in King Street ; Handel's '• Te Deum " 
and "Jubilate" with the "Messiah," 
at St. Philip's Church. The principal 
singers were Mrs, Pinto, first soprano, 
and Jlr. Charles Norris, tenor ; the 
orchestra numbered about 70, the con- 
ductor being iMr. Ca}iel JJoml of 
Coventry, with Mr. Pinto as leader of 
the baud. Tlie tickets of admission 
were 5s. each, the receipts (with dona- 
tions) amounting to about £800, and 
the profits to £299. 

1778, Sept. 2 to 4. Tiie perform- 
ances this time (and tor fifteen festivals 
after), were at St. Philip's Church, and 
■\t the newly-built theatre in Xew 
Street, the oratorios, &c., inclmiing 
"'Judas Maccabreus," the ■"ilessiah," 
Handel's " To Deum," " Jubilate," 
" Acis and Galatea," &c. Principal 
performers : Jliss ilalion, iliss Salmon, 
Mr. C. Norris, and Cervttto, a cele- 
brated violoncellist, the leader of the 
band being ]\Ir. William Cramer, a 
poj)ular violinist. The choir had the 
assistance of "the celtbrAte<l women 
chorus singers from Lancashire." The 
receipts were again about £800, and 
the profits £340, which sum was 
divided between the Hospitil and the 
building fund for St. Paul s. 

1784, Sept. 22 to 24. President : 



Lord Dudley and AVard. Following 
after the celebrated Handel Connnenio- 
ration the programme was tilled 
almo-t solely with selections from 
Handel's works, the only novelty 
being the oratorio of '• Goliath," 
composed by Mr. Atterbury, which 
according to one modem musical critic, 
has never be^^^n heard of since. Master 
Bartlemaii, who afterwards became the 
leading bass singer of the day, was the 
novelty among the pert'oimers. Re- 
ceipts, ^1,325 ; profits, ATOS. 

1787, Aug. 22 to 24. President, 
the Earl of Aylesford. In addition to 
the miscellaneous (mostly Haiidelian) 
pieces, the oratories performed were 
"Israel in Egypt " and the "Messiah," 
the latter being so remarkably success- 
ful that an extra performance of it was 
given on the Saturday following. 
Among the perfL^nners were Mrs. 
Billington (first soprano), Mr. Samuel 
Harrison (ou-'e of the finest tenor singers 
ever heard in England), and JMr, John 
Sale (a rich-toned bass), and the 
"women chorus." Receipts about 
£2,000 ; profits, ,€964. 

1790, Aug. 25 to 27. President, 
LordDudley and Ward. The " .Mes- 
s.ah," with miscellaneous selections, 
tlie principal performers b^ing Madame 
]\hua, ilr. Reinhold, and Mr. Charles 
Knyvett, with Jean JMara (violoncel- 
list )-iud J oil n Chris tianFi6cher(oboeist) 
The prices of admission were raised at 
this Festival to 10s. 6d. and 7s. • 
Theatre boxes 7s. 6 1, pit 5-., gallery 
3s. 6 1. Receipts £1,965 15s. f jn-o- 
fits £958 14s. 

1796, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, President, 
the Earl of Alyesford. 'J he [lerform- 
ances were like those of 1790, of a. 
general character, besides the "Mes- 
siah ;" while the two principal so- 
pranos were the Misses Fletcher, 
daughters of a local iimsician. Tlie 
trombone was introduced at this 
Festival for the first time. Receipts 
£2,043 18.S. ; profits £897. 

1792, September IS to 20. President, 
the Earl oi Warwick. Tlie "Me.-siah/' 
with vocal and instrumental selections 



158 



8H0WELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



of the usual character. Miss Poole and 
Master Elliott among the vocalisfs, 
with Mr. Holmes (has.soonist) and Sig- 
ner Mariotti (tronihoiie player), were 
chief of the uewlj -introduced pcform- 
ers. Receipts, £->,550 ; p-ofits, £1,470. 

1802, Sep'ember 22 to 24. President, 
the Earl of Dartmouth. For the first 
time in this town Haydn's " Creation " 
was performed, in addition to the 
"Messiah," &c. Among the vocalists 
were INIadame Dussek, Mrs. Mountain, 
John Braham {the Piraham of undjing 
fame), and Mr. William Knyvett ; Mr. 
Francois Cramer, leader of tlie hand 
(and at every festival until 1843), 
had with him Andrew Ashe (flautist), 
Aufossi (double biss), &c., with over 
100 in the orchestra. Receipts, 
£3,820 17s. 0|d. ; profits, £2,380. 

1805, Oct. 2 to 4. President, the 
Earl of Aylestord. The " Messiah " 
was given tor the first time here with 
Mozart's accompaniments ; part of the 
" Creation" &c. Mr. Tiionias A^aughan 
was among the singers (and he took 
part in eveiy Festival until 1840), and 
Signor Domenico Dragouetti (double 
bass) and the Brotbeis Petrides (horn 
players) with the instruments. Re- 
ceipts, £4,222 ; i)rofiis, £2,202. 

1808, Oct. 5 to 7. President, the 
Right Hon. Lord Guernsey. Nearly 
200 performe s, including Master Bug- 
gins (a Birmingham hoy alto) Mr. J.J. 
Goss (counter lenor), Signor Joseph 
Naldi (buffo), and Dr. Crotch, the 
conductor, organi-t and pianist. The 
last-named was a good player when only 
3^ years ohl. Receipts, £5,511 12s. ; 
profits, £3,257. 

1811, Oct. 2 to 4. President, Lord 
Bradford. Madame Catdni, Mrs. 
Bianchi, and Mr. T. L. Belamy firat 
appeared here, as well as Mr. Samuel 
Wesley (John Wesley's neiihew), as 
conductor and organist. Prires agiin 
raised, morning tickets being 20<. and 
10s., with 10s. 6d. pit a'lo 5v gallery 
at Theatre. Receipts, £6,680 ; p.ofits, 
£3,6-29. 

1814, Oct. 5 to 7. Piesident, the 
Earl ^of Plymouth. Miss Slephens 



(afterwards Countess of Essex), Miss 
Travis, Vincent Novello (the publisher 
of after years), andGriesbach (oboeist), 
were among tlie "first ajipearances. " 
Receipts, £7,171 12s. ; profits, £3,629, 

1817, Oct. 1 to 3. Piesident, the 
Hon. Sir Charles Greville, K.C.B. 
Mrs. Salmon, Madame C^mporese, Mr. 
Hobbs (tenor). Monsieur Drouet 
(flautist), Mr. T. Harper (trumpet), 
and Mr. Probin (horn), took part iu 
the performances. Receipts, £8,476 ; 
Iirofits, £4,296 10s. 

1820, Oct. 3 to 6. President, the 
Hon. Heneage Legge. The principal 
performers included Madame Vestris, 
Siguora Corri, Miss Symcnds (a native 
of this town, and who continued to 
sing here occasionally for twenty years), 
Signor Begrez (tenor), Signor Ambro- 
getti (buffo bass), Mr. R. N. C. Bocusa 
(harpist), Mr. Slia gool (violinist), Mr. 
Stanier (ffiutist), and Mr. Munde . 
(viola player). The last two gentle- 
men were connected with this town 
until very late years. The chief 
novelty was the English version of 
Haydn's " Seasons," written by the 
Rev. John Webb, a local clergyman. 
Receipts, £9,483 ; profits, £5,0Ul lis. 

1823, Oct. 7 to 10. President, Sir 
Francis Lawley, Bart. Among the 
fiesh faces wore tliose of Miss Heaton 
(afterwards Mrs. T. C. Salt), Signor 
Placci (biritone), Mr. Thome (bass), 
Mr. Nicholson (flute), and Signor 
Puzzi (horn). The Rev. John Webb 
wrote for this occasion, " Tfie Triumph 
of Gideon," an Euuli^h adaptation of 
Winter's "Timotos."' R'?ceiots, £11,115 
10s. ; profits, £5,806 12s. 

1826, Oct. 4 to 7. President, Earl 
Howe. The programmes this year 
were more varied than at any previous 
festival, the peif-jrinances, in addition 
to the " Messiali," ivcluding the ora- 
torio "Jose|)h," I'y jMihul, selections 
fiom Graun's " Der Tod Jesu," Han- 
del's "Judas Maccabeus," Haydn's 
" Seasons," &('. A number of the per- 
formers appeared here for their first 
time, iucluaing Madame C^radori, Miss 
Paton, Miss BiCon, Henry Phillips (the 



SHOWELl's dictionary op BIRMINGHAM. 



159 



veteran and popular singer of la'er 
days, but who was then only in his 
25th year), Signor Cuiioni (said to 
have borne a womierfnl resemblance to 
Shakespeare in his figurehead and fea- 
tures), Signer de Begins, Mr. John 
Baptiste Cramer, C. G. Kiesewetter 
(who (lied the following year), Charles 
Augustus de Beiiot (who married 
Madame Malibran-Garcia), and quite a 
host of local instrumentalists who were 
long chief among onr Birmingham 
musicians. Receipts £10,104 ; profits 
£4,592 

1829, Oct. 6 to 9. President, the 
Earl of Bradford. This was the Jubilee 
Year of the Geneial Hospital, and 
conspicuous in the programme was the 
"Jubilee Anthem" in commemoration 
of the fiftieth year of its establishment, 
the words being adapted to the music 
composed by Cherubini for Clnrles X.s 
coronation. This was also the last 
year in which the Festival performances 
took place in St Philip's Church or 
(except several single nights of operatic 
selections) at tlic Theatre. Besides the 
"Jubilee Anthem," there were novel- 
ties in the shape of Z'ngarelli's " Can- 
tata Sacra " (describ«d in a musical 
publication as a "tame, insipid, heap 
of commonplare trash"), and the in- 
troduction of " operatic selections " at 
the evening concerts. Anjorgst the per- 
formers who made their debut in Bir- 
mingham were Madame Malibran- 
Garcia, Mdlle. Blasis, Miss Fanny 
Aytou, Signor Costa, Signer Guihelei, 
Mrs. Andersnn (who gave pianoforte 
lessons to Princess Victoiia), and ilr. 
Charles Lucas (violoiicelln). Receipts, 
£9,771 ; profits, £3,806 17s. 

1834. Ott. 7 to 10. President, the 
Earl of Aylesford. This being the 
first Festival held in the Town Hall it 
may be noted that the prices of ad- 
mission were for the morning perfor- 
mances, 21/- for reserved and 10/6 
unreserved seats ; in the evening, 15/- 
and 8/- ; at the Tlieatre, bo.xes a'.i d 
pit, 15/-, gallery, 7/ ; ball on Fiiday, 
10/6. There were 14 principal vocalists, 
33 in the semi-chorus, 187 in the full 



chorus, 147 instrumental performers, 
2 conductors, 2 organists, and 1 
]pianist. Besides the " Messiah," 
there was the new oratorio, " David," 
by Nerkomin (the fiist that was 
originally composed for our Festivals), 
selections from the same author's 
"Mount Sinai," from Spohr's "Last 
Judgment," from Handel's " Lsrael in 
Egy|)t," and an arrangi'inent of Hnm- 
niel's " Motet," &c. This was the first 
introduction to the Ftstivais of Miss 
Clara Novello (afterwaids Countess 
Giglincci), Madame Stockhansen and 
her husband (harpist), Ignaz Mos- 
chele^^, Mr. William Macli'n (a towns- 
man), Miss Aston and iliss Bate (both 
Birmingham ladies), Mr. George Hol- 
lius (the first appointed Town Hall 
organist), and others. Receipts, 
£13,527 ; profit?, £4,035. 

1837, Sept. 19 to 22. President, 
Lord AYilloughby de Broke. Mendels- 
sohn's new oratorio, "St. Paul" 
(oft mistakenly supposed to have been 
specially written for the occasion), was 
the most important production, but 
Neukomm'.s "Ascension," Hieser's 
" Triumph of Faith," and several 
other new compositions were performed 
on this occasion. In addition to 
Mendelssohn's first appearance here 
as conductor, there were other new 
f-ices, among them being Madame 
Ginla Grisi, JIadame Emma Alber- 
tazzi, Mrs. Albert ShaW, Signor An- 
tonio Tamburini, Mr. Alfred Mellon 
(in his 17th year, but even then leader 
of the band at tho Theatre), Signor 
Regoudi (concertina ]ilayer), &c. Re- 
ceipts, £11,900, but, as besides mote 
than usually heavy expenses, £1,200 
was paid for building the recess in 
which the organ was pLceu, the profits 
werd only £2,776. 

1840, Sept. 22 to 25. President, 
Lord Lfigh. The oratorio, "Israelii! 
EsyP^" '^y Handcl, selections from 
his "Jephtha," and "Jesbua," and 
Mendelssohn's " Hymn of Praise," 
were the great features of thisFestival^ 
at which appeared for the first time 
Madame Dorus-Gras, Miss M. B. 



160 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



Hawes, Signer Lonis Lablache, with 
Mr. T. Cooke, and Mr. H. G. Elagiove 
(two c'ever violinists). Receipts, 
£11,613 ; profits, £4,503. 

1843, Sept. 19 to 22. President, 
Earl Craven. The perforniancts at 
the Town Hall included Handel's 
oratorio, "Deborah," Dr. Croteh's 
"Palestine," aiul Rossini's " Sta'oat 
Mater," the introdncii.n of the latter 
causing a considerable flutter among 
some ot the local clergy, one of whom 
described it as the most idolatrous 
and anti-Christian composition that 
could be met with. The Tlieatre this 
j-ear was used for three evening con- 
certs, &e. Among the new vocalists 
w6re Miss Rainforth, Siguor Mario, 
Signer Fornasaii, and Mr. Manvers. 
The organists were Dr. Samuel Sebas- 
tian Wesley and our Mr. James 
Stimpson, who had succeeded Mr. 
George Hollins as Town Hall organist 
in the ]irevious vear. Receipts, 
£8,822 ; profits, £2,916. 

1846, Aug. 25 to 28. President, 
Lord Wrottesle}'. This is known as 
"The Elijah Festival," from the pro- 
duction of Mendelssohn's chef d'ccuvre 
the "Elijah" oratorio. The perfor- 
mers were mostly those who had been 
here before, save Miss Bassano, the 
Misses Williams, Mr. Lockey, and 
Herr Joseph Staudigl. Receipts, 
£11,638 ; profits, £5,508. 

1849, Sept. 4 to 7. President, Lord 
Guernsey. This Festival is especially 
noteworthy as being the first conducted 
by Sir ilichael Costa, also for the 
number of " principals " wlio had not 
jirevioii^ly taken part in the Festivals, 
for the extreme length of the evening 
programmes, each lasting till after 
midnight ; and, lastly, from the fact, 
that out of a bod^' of 130 instrnmeutal- 
ists, only eight or nine Birmingham 
musicians could be found to please the 
unacstro's taste. The oratorios of the 
"Messiah," "Elijah," and " Israel iu 
Egypt," were the jirincipal pieces, with 
Mendelssohn's "First Walpurgis 
Niglit," and Prince Albert's " L'Livo- 
•cazioue dell' Armouia;" the remainder 



being of the most varied character. 
The first ap[iearrtnces included Madame 
Sontag, Madame Castellan, Miss Cathe- 
rine Hayes, M'ille. Alboui, Miss 
Stevens (af erwards jMrs. Hale), Mdlle. 
Jetty de Trtlfz, Sims Reeves, Herr 
Piscliek (baritone basso). Signer Botte- 
sini (double bass), M. Sigismund Thal- 
berg (pianist), iL Prospere Sainton 
(violinist), &c. Receipts £10,334 ; 
profi:s, £2,443. 

1852, Sept. 7 to 10. President, Lord 
Leigh. Hand'^l's oi'atorio, "Samson," 
and Mendelssohn's unfinished " Chris- 
tus," were the cliief new works ; and 
the principal strangers were Madame 
Viardot-Garcia, Mi.-s Dolby, Signer 
Tamberlik, Herr Formes, Signer 
Belletti, Mr. Weiss, Signer Piatti 
(violoncello). Signer Botttsini (double 
bass), and Herr Kuhe (pianoforte) 
Receipts £11,925 ; profits £4,704. 

1855, Aug. 28 to 31. President, 
Lord Willoughby de Bieke, The pro- 
gramme included Costa's "Eli" (com- 
|)osed for the occasion), Beethoven's 
''Mount of Olives," Glover's "Tarn 
O'Shanter," Macfarren's cantata " Le- 
nora," and Mozart's "Requiem ;" the 
Iresh artistes being Madame Ruders- 
dcrf, Signer Gardoiii, and Herr 
Rcichardt. Receipts £12,745 ; profits, 
£3,108, in addition to £1,000 spent en 
decorating, &c. , the Hail and organ. 

1858, Aug. 31 to Sept. 3. President, 
the Earl of Dartmouth. The novelties 
included ilendelssohn's Hymn "Praise 
Jehovah," Beethoven's " j\Iass in C," 
Leslie's Cantata "Judith," Mendels- 
sohn's Cantata " To the Sons of Art,' 
Costa's serenata " The Dream," &c. 
First appearani^es were made by 
Mdlle. Victorie Balfe, Signer Roncoui, 
Mr. Mentein Smith, about a dozen in- 
strumentalists belonging to the Fes- 
tival Choral S jciety. and nearly 
seventv members of the Amateur 
Harmonic Association, Mr. W. C. 
Stockley filling the post of general 
chorus-master. This was the last year 
of the " Festival Balls." Receipts, 
£11,141 ; profits, £2,731. 

1861, Aug. 27 to 30. President, the 



SHOWKLL's DlCTKINARl' OF BIRMINGHAM. 



161 



Fiarl of S!new>buiy and Talbot. Tlu^ 
new introdiu'lioiis conipiisetl MdlUv 
Titiens, Mdlle. Adeliiia Patti, Mdlk-. 
rjemmens-Shcrringcoii, Miss PalniL-r, 
Signer Gin;.!lini, Mr. SHntley, and Mi.-s 
Arabella Goddard. Beethoven's " Mass 
in D," and Humniel's Motett " Alma 
Virgo" were y&vt of the {>ro- 
^^rarasne, which included not only the 
"Messiah" and "Elijah," bnt also 
"Samson" and " The Creation," Sec. 
Keceipts, £11,453 ; piofits, £3,043. 

1864, Sept, 6 to 9. President, the 
Earl of Lichfield. Costa's "jSTaamaii," 
Sallivan'.s " Kcuilworth," Gnolienil'.s 
" OfFcrtoriuiu,"andMozart's "Twelfth 
ilass " wore produced. 5lr. "SV. H. 
Cunimings made his fir.st appearauci'. 
Receipts, £13,777 ; profits, £5,256. 

1867, Aug. 27 to 29. President, 
Eiirl Beauchanip. The novelties wen- 
Bennett's " Woman of Samaria," 
Gounod's " Messe Solonnelle," Bene- 
dict's " Legend of St. Cecilia," and 
Barnett's "Ancient Mariner." The 
new singers were Mdlle. Cliristine 
Nilsson and Madame Patey-Whyloek. 
Receipts, £14,397 ; profits, £5,541. 

1870, Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. President, 
the Earl of I'radford. The new works 
were Barnett's "Paradiseaud the Peri," 
Benedicc'.s " St. Peter," and Killer's 
"Nala and Damayanti," Mdlle. 
lima de Murska, Mdlle. Drasdil, 
Miss Edith Wynne (Eos Cymru), 
Signor Foil, and Mr. Vernon 
Rigby making their debtit as Festival 
.singer?. Receipts, £14,635 ; profits, 
£6,195. 

1873, Aug. 25 to 28. President, the 
Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot. The 
most important of the novelties were 
Sullivan's "Light ot the World," and 
Schira's " Lord of Burleigh," but the 
greatest attraction of all was the pa- 
tronising presence of royalty in the per- 
son of the Duke of Edinburgh. Re- 
ceipts, £16,097 ; profits, £6,391. 

1876, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1. President^ 
the Marquis of Hertford. Herr 
Wagner's "Holy Supper," Mr. Mac- 



farren'.-5 " Resurrection," Mr. F. H. 
Cowen's "Corsair," and Herr Gade's 
" Zioii " and " Crn.saders " were the 
pieces now first introduced, the artistes 
being all old friends, with the excep 
tion'^of Mr. E. Lloyd. Receipts, 
£15,160 ; profits, £5,823. 

1879, Aug. 26 to 29. President, 
Lord Norton. The fresli comnositions 
consisted of Herr Max Brueh's " Lay 
of the Bell, ' Rossini's " Moses in 
Egypt," Saint-Saens' "The Lyn- and 
HaVp, " and T)r. C. S. Heap's "Over- 
ture in F." Fir.st appearances included 
Madame Gerster, Miss Anna Williams, 
Mr. Joseph Maas, and Herr Hen.schel, 
Reeeii.ts, £11,729 ; profits, £4,500. 

1882, Aug. 29 to Sep. 1. Pre.sident, 
Lord Windsor. On this occasion 
Madame Roze-Mapleson, Miss Eleanor 
Farnr.1, Mr. Horrex,Mr. Campion, and 
Mr. Woodhali, first came before a 
Festival audience. Thi^ list of new 
works comprised Gounod's " Redemp- 
tion," Ganl's " Holy City," Gade's 
"Psyche," Benedict's '• Graziella," 
j\lr. C. H. Parry's " Symphony in G 
Major," Brahm's "Triumphed," with 
a new song and a new march bv Gounod. 
Receipts, £15,011 ; profits, £4,704. 

1885,Ang.25 to28.— President : Lord 
Brooke. The principal performers 
were Madame Aibani, Mrs. Hutchinson, 
Mi.ss Anna Williams, Madame Patey, 
Madame Trebelli ; Messr.s. Edward 
Lloyl, Joseph Maas, Santley, Signor 
Foli. Herr Richter was the conductor. 
Works performed were : — Oratorio, 
"Elijah"; new Cantata, "Sleeping 
Beauty " ; new Oratorio. " Mors et 
Vita" ; new cantata, "Yule Tide" ; 
Oratorio, " Mes.siah " ; new Cantata, 
"The Spectre's Bride" ; new Oratorio, 
" The Three Holy Children." 

Music Halls.— Mr. Henry Holder 
is often said to have been the fir.-t who 
opened a public room of this kind, but 
there had been one some years before 
at the George and Dragon, corner of 
Weaman Street, Steelhonse Lane, wliich 
was both popular and respectably con- 
ducted. — See "Concert Balls." 



162 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OK BIRMINGHAM. 



Musical Instruments. — Our 

grandtatliers ami graiidmotheis were 
content with tlieir harps and harpsi- 
chords, their big and little fiddles, 
with trumpets and drums, horns, oboes, 
bassoons, and pipes. Clarionets were 
not introduced into the Festival bands 
until 1778 ; the double-bass kettle 
drums came in 1784 ; trombones in 
1790 ; flutes, with six or more keys, 
were not known until 1802 ; serpents 
appeared in 1820 ; flageolets in 1823 ; 
theophicleide was brought in 1829, and 
the monster specimens in 1834, which 
year also s^w the introduction of the 
piccolo ; the bombardon not coming 
until 1843. Pianofortes were first 
known in England in 1767, but when 
first played in Birmingham is uncer- 
tain ; the first time the instrument is 
named in a Festival programme was 
1808, but the loan of a grand by Mr. 
Tomkinson, a London maker, in 1817, 
was an event thought deserving of a 
special vote of thanks. 

Musical Notabilities of the high- 
est calibre have been frequent visitors 
here, at the Festivals and ai the Thea- 
tres, though the native- liorn sons of 
song who have attained high rank in 
the profession number but few. Under 
'^Musical Festivals " appear the names 
of all the leading artistes who have taken 
part in those world-known perform- 
ances, the dates of their first appear- 
ances being only given, and in like 
manner in the notice of our " Theatres " 
and ^'Theatrical Celebrities" will be 
chronicled the advents of many cele- 
brated "stars" who have trod our 
local boards. Considering the position 
he long held in the musical worl I, the 
introduction of Sir Michael Costa to 
Birmingham has sufficient interest to 
be here noted. Signor Costa had been 
sent by his friend Zingarelli to conduct 
his " Cantata Sacra " at the Festival 
of 1829. Tlie managers, liowever, 
thought so very little of the young 
gentleman's appearance (lie was but 
nineteen) that they absolutely refused 
him permission to do so, only allowing 
his expenses on condition that he went 



among the .singers. It was of no use 
his telling them that he was a con- 
ductor and not a singer, and he had 
nervously to take the part assigned 
him. On returning to Lomlon, he 
quickly " made his mark," and fell 
into his right place of honour and 
credit. 

Musical Services. —The first of a 

series of week- night musical services 
for the people took place at St. Luke's 
Church, September 10, 1877, the instru- 
ments used being the organ, two kettle- 
drums, two trumpets, and two trom- 
bones. This was by no means an 
original idea, for the followers of 
Swedenborg had similar services as 
well in their Chapel in Paradise Street 
(on site of Queen's College), a^ in New- 
hall Street and Summer Lane. 

Mysteries of Past History.— It 

was believed that a qiiantiiy of arms 
were provided here by certain gentle- 
men favourable to the Pretender's 
cause in 1745, and that on the rebels 
failing to reach Birmingham, the said 
arms were buried on the premises of a 
certain manufacturer, who for the good 
of his health fled to Portugal. The 
fact of the weapons being hidden came 
to the knowledge of the Government 
some sixty years after, and a search for 
them was intended, but though the 
name of the manufacturer was found 
in the rate books of the period, and 
down to 1750, the site of his premises 
could not be assertained, the street 
addresses not being inserted, onlj' the 

quarter of the town, thus: "T. S. 

Digbeth (quarter." The swords, &.C., 
have remained undiscovered to the 
present day.— M 10, 1864, while 
excavations were being made in the 
old "Castle Yard," in High Street 
the .skeletons of three human beings 
were found in a huddled jiositiou 
about 2^lt. from the surface. — The Old 
Inkleys were noted for the peculiar 
character (or want thereof) of its in- 
habitants, though why they buried 
their dead beneath tlieir cellar floors 
must remain a mystery. On October 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



163 



'29, 1879, the skeleton of a full-grown 
man was found underneath what had 
oiiite btcii the site of a house in Court 
No. 25 of the Old Inklcys, where it 
must have lain at least 20 years. 

Nail Making.— See " Trades." 

Natural History and .Micro- 

sco))'c>il Society was formed in Januar}', 
1858. The first meeting of the Mid- 
land Union of Natural History, Philo- 
sophical, and Archreological Societies 
and Field Clubs was held at the Mid- 
land Institute, May 27, 1878. 

Nechells. — There is, or was, a year 
or two back, a very old house, " Ne- 
chells Hall," still in existence, where 
at one period of their history, some of 
the Holte family resided. 

Needless Alley is said to have 
been originally called Needles Alley 
from a ['in and needle makers' shop 
there. 

Nelson. — Boukon struck a tine 
nieflal in commemoration of the Battle 
of Trafalgar, and by permission of the 
Government gave one to every person 
who took part in the action ; flag- 
ofticers andeommanders receiving copies 
in gohi, lieutenants, &c. , in silver, and 
the men, bronze. Being struck for this 
purpose only, and not for sale, the 
metial is very scarce. — See "Statues." 

New Hall. — One of the residences 
of the Colmore family, demolished 
in 1787, the advertisement announcing 
the sale of its materials appearing July 
2 that year. It is generally believed 
that the house stood in exact line with 
Newhall Street, and at its juncture 
with Great Charles Street ; the houses 
with the steps to them showing that 
the site between, whereon the Hall 
stood, was lowered after its clearance. 

Newhall Hill— Famous for ever 
in our history lor the gatherings 
which have at times taken place 
thereon, the most important of which 
are those of 1819, July 12, to elect a 
"representative " who should devia7i,d 
admittance to, and a seat in, theHouse 



of Commons, whether the Commons 
would let him or no. For taking part in 
this meeting, George Edmonds, Major 
Cartwright, and some otliers, were put 
on their trial A "true bill" was 
found on August 9th, but the indict- 
ment being removed to King's Bench, 
the trial did not take place till August 
7, 1820, the sentence of 12 months' 
imprisonment being passed May 28, 
1821.— In 1832, May 14, nearly 
200,000 persons present, Mr. Thomas 
Attwood presiding. This is the meet 
ing described as "one of the most 
solemn spectacles ever seen in tlie 
world," when the whole mighty as- 
semblage took the vow of the Political 
Union, to "devote themselves and 
theirchildren to their country's cause." 
—In 1833, May 20, at which the 
Government was censured for passing a 
Coerciau Bill for Ireland, for keeping 
on the window and house taxes, for 
not abolishing the Corn Laws, and for 
not allowing vote by ballot. 

Newhall Lane was the original 
name for that part of Colmore Row 
situate between Newhall Street and 
Livery Street. 

New John Street, for a long time, 
was considered the longest street in 
the borough, being 1 mile and 200 yards 
long. 

New Market Street. — Some 

ground was set out here, years ago, for 
a market ; lience the name. 

Newspapers and Magazines.— 

In 1719 there were many small " .sheets 
of news " published in London, but the 
imposition of a hallpenny stamp 
finished the career of the majority. In 
1797 a 34d. stamp, and in 1815 a 4d. 
stamp was required. In 1836 it was 
reduced to Id., and in 1855, after a 
long agitation, the newsjiaper duty 
was abolished altogether. About 1830 
the trick of printing a calico sheet of 
news was tried, the letter of the law 
being that duty must be paid on news- 
■papers, but the Somerset House people 
soon stopped it. In Oct., 1834, among 
many others. James Guest, Thomas 



164 



SHOWEI-LS OIUTIONAUY OF BIRMlNGtlAM. 



Watts, and William Plastaus, news- 
vendors of this town, were coiuniitteii 
to Warwick Gaol for the offence of 
selling unstamped papers. In 1840, 
the total circulation of all the local 
papers did not reach 14,000 copies per 
week, a great contra.st to the present 
day, when one ollice alone semis out 
mere than 150,000 in the like time. 
Durintr the Churtist agitation there 
were fre([uently as many as 5,000 to 
tJ.OOO copies of Feargus O'Connor's 
Xortlwrn Star sold here, and many 
hundreds a week of the lyeckhj DU- 
patch, a great favourite with " the 
people " then. Cacocthes sciihcndi, or 
the scribbling itch, is a complaint 
many local people have suffered from, 
but to give a list of all the magMzines, 
newspapers, journals, and periodicals 
that have been published here is im- 
pc-isible. Many like garden Uowers 
have bloomed, fruited, and lived their 
little day, others have proved sturdy 
plants and stood their ground for years, 
but the majority only just budded into 
life before the cola fro.sts of public 
neglect struck at their roots and 
withered them up, not a leaf being 
left to tell even the date of their 
death. Notes of a few are here 
given: — 

Advertiser. —First uumlier appeared 
Oct. 10, 1833. 

Argi's. — Started as a monthly Aug. 
1, 1828.— See " Allday "under " Aoic- 
iwrthy Afen." 

Ariss Gazette. — The oldest of our 
present local papers was first published 
Nov. 16, 1741. Like all other papers 
of that period, it was but a dwarf in 
comparison with the present broad- 
sheet, and the whole of the local news 
given in its first number was comprised 
in five lines, announcing the celebra- 
tion of Admiral Vernon's birthday. Its 
Founder, Thos. Aris, died July 4, 1761. 
Since tiiat date it had seen but few 
changes in its proprietorship until 
1872, when it was taken by a Limited 
Liability Company, its politics remain 
ing staunchly Conservative. On May 
12th, 1862, it was issued as a daily. 



the Saturday's publication still bearing 
the old familiar name. 

Afhtetr. --Yirat issued as the "Mid- 
land Athlete," .lanuary, 1879. 

Bazaar. — A quarto seiial of 1823-25. 
Birtiiincjham Magazine. — A literary 
and scientific publication edited by 
Rev. Hugh Hutton. First appeared 
in Nov. 1827, running only nine num- 
bers. 

Brum. — A .*o-ealled satirical, but 
slightly .scurrilous, sheet issued in 
1869, for a brief period. 

Central Literar\) Ma.ijazinc. — First 
No. in Jar. 1873. 

Chronicle. — First published in 1765 
by Myles Swinney, who continued to 
edit the paper until his death in 1812. 
It was sold March 15, 1819, as well as 
the type foundry whicli had been car- 
ried on by Mr. Swinney, a- business 
then noteworthy, as there was but one 
other of the kind in Englaml out of 
London. 

Daily Globe. — A Conservative ^d. 
evening paper, commencing Nov. 17, 
1879, and dying Oct. 30, 1880. 

Daily Mail. — P^veningid. paper; an 
offshoot from tiie Daily Fost, and now 
printed on adjoining premises. First 
jmblished Sept. 7, 1870. 

Daily Post. — First published Dec. 
4, 1857, by the proprietors of the 
Journal. From the first it "took" 
well, and it is the leading daily paper 
of tlie Jlidland Counties. 

Daily Press. — The first daily paper 
issued in Birmingham appeared on 
May 7, 1855. Like many other 
" new inventions," however, it did not 
succeed in making a firm footing and 
succumbed in November, 1858. 

Dart. — A well-conducted comic 
weekly paper. Commencod Oct. 28, 
1876. 

Edgbaston Advertiser. — Published 
monthly by Mr. Thos. Britten, Lady- 
wood. As its name implies, this pub- 
lication is more of the character of an 
advertising sheet than a newspaper, 
but it often contains choice literary 
pieces which make it a favourite. 

Edgbastonid. — A monthly, full of 



8H0WKLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINOBAM. 



160 



quaint and curious notes, los-al bio<,ra- 
phios, &c. , i.ssuoil liy Mr. Eliezer Ed- 
wards, tlie Well-known "S.D.K." 
Fir.-t -sent out May, 1881. 

Edmonds' Weekly Recorder. — First 
published by Geori;;e Edmonds, June 
18, 1819. it was alive in 1823, but 
date of 1 lit issue is uncertain. 

German. — A newspaper printed in 
the German language made its appear- 
ance here Aug. 7, 1866, but did not 
live long. 

Graphic. — A penny illustrated oni- 
menced Ftb. 21, 18S3, but its growth 
was not sullicionth- hard;/ to keep it 
alive more than two fiiimmcrs. 

Gridiron. — "A grill for saints and 
sinners," according to No. 1 (.luae 14, 
1879), and if bitter biting personalities 
can be called fun, the |)ublication was 
certainly an amusing one, so long as it 
lasted. 

Hardware Lion. — Rather a curious 
name for the monthly advertising 
sheet first published Dec, 1880, but it 
did not long survive. 

Illustrated Midland News. — The 
publication of this paper, Sefit. 4, 1869, 
was a spirited attemjit- by Mr. .Joseph 
Hattou to rival th- Illustrated London 
News ; but the fates were against him, 
and the la>t uuvnber was that of March 
11, 1871. 

Inspector. — A political sheet, whicli 
only appeared a few times in 1815. 

Iris. — A few iiumbersofa literary 
magazine thus named were issued in 
1830. 

JabcCs Ucrald. — A wjjekly paper, 
published 1808, but not of I'-.ng exist- 
ence. 

Journul. — A paper with this name 
was published in 1733, but there are 
no files extant to show how long it 
catered for tlie public. A copy of its 
18th number, Monday, May 21, 1733, 
a small 4to of 4 i>ages, with the ^d. 
red stamp, is in the possessio'i of the 
j)roprictors of the Daily Post, Tiie 
Journal of later days first appeared 
June 4 182.J, and coutiuued to 



be published as a Saturday weekly 
\intil 1873, when it was incorporated 
with the Daily Post. 

Liberal Review. — First number 
Maich 20, 1880, and a few numbers 
ended it. 

Looker-Oil — A quizzical critical sheet 
of theatrical items of the year 1823. 

Literary PJuenix.—K miscellany of 
literary litter swept together by -Mr. 
Henry Hawkes in 1820, but ^ooii 
tlropped. 

Lion. — Anotlier of the modern " sat- 
irical " shortlived sheets, started Jan. 
4, 1877. 

Mercury . — The Birmiwiltani Mer- 
cury and JFarwickshire and Stafford- 
shire Advertiser was the title of an.nvs. 
paper of which the first copy was dated 
November 24, 1820. The title oi Mer- 
cury was revived in 1848, on the lOtL 
December of which year Mr. Wm. 
B. Sniitii brought out his paper of that 
name. It commenced with eclat, 
but soon lost its good name, and ulti- 
mately, after a lingering existence (as 
a daily at last), it died out August 24, 
1857. 

Middle School Mirror. — A monthly, 
editet, written, and published by the 
boys of the Middle School of King Ed- 
ward the Sixth, siione forth in Deem- 
ber, 1880. 

Midland Antiqii^cry. — First number 
for Ojt., 1882. A well-eilited chro- 
nicle of matters interesting to our 
" Old Mortality " boys. 

Midland Counties Herald. — • First 
published July 26, 1836, by Messrs. 
Wright and Dain. Its circulation, 
though almost gratuitous is extensive 
and from its liigh character as a me- 
diam for certain classes of advertise- 
ments it 0''<!asionally has appeared in 
the novel shine of a newspaoer witli- 
out Huy news, the advert sers taking 
up all the space. 

Midland Eelw — Halfpenny evening 
paper, commenced Feb. 26, 1883, as an 
extra-superfine Liberal organ. Ceased 
to appear as a local pap^r early in 
1885. 

Midlaivi Metropolitan Ma(jazine. — 



166 



8HOWELL3 DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



This heavily-named aionthly lasted 
just one year, from Dec, 1852. 

Midland Naturalifit. — Commenced 
.Ian. 1, 1878. 

Morning Netos. — Daily paper, in 
jiolitics a Nonconformist Liberal ; first 
published Jan. 2, 1871, under the 
editorship of George Dawson until the 
expiration of 1873. On Aug. 16, 1875, 
it was issued as a morning and even- 
ing paper at ^d. ; but the copy for May 
27, 1876, contained its oavu death 
notice. 

Monse Trap. — The title of a little 
paper of playful badinage, issued for a 
month or two in the autumn of 1824. 

Naiumlist.s' Ga~dtr.— In Seitt. 1882, 
the Birmingham naturalists began a 
gazette of their own. 

Old cold, JVeir Birmiivjham was 
])ublislied in monthly parts, the first 
being issued June 1, 1878. 

Owl. — A weekly pennyworth of 
self-announced "wit and wisdom" 
first issued Jan. 30, 1879. 

Penrnj Magazine. — This popular 
periodical, the fore-runner of all the 
cheap literature of the day, may be 
said to have had a Birmingham origin, 
as it was first suggested to Charles 
Knight by ilr. M. D. Hill in 1832. 

rhilanthrojnd. — First published (as 
The Reformer) April 16, 1§35, by 
Benjamin Hudson, IS, Bull Street ; 
weekly, four pages, price 7d., but in 
the following September lowered to 
4|d., the stamp duty of 4d. beitig at 
that time redured to Id. In politics it 
was Lilwral, and a staunch supporter 
of the Dissenters, who only supported 
it for about two years. 

lladAcal Times. — Came into existence 
Sept. 30, 1876, but being too rabidly 
Radical, even for "the 600," whose 
leading-strings it shirked, it did not 
thrive for long. 

liCgififer or Entcrtainiiuj Museum. — 
With the prefix of the town's name, 
this monthly periodical lived one year 
from May 10, 1764. This was one of 
the earliest London-printed country 
papers, the only local portion being 



the outside pages, so that it suited for 
a number of places. 

Reporter and Ecvievj. — Principally 
devoted to the doings on the local 
stage, and jiublished fcr a brief period 
during June, &c., 1823. 

Saturday Evening Post. — A weekly 
" make-up " from the Daily Post (with 
a few distinctive features) and came 
into being with that paper ; price l^d. 
Originally issued at noon on Saturday, 
but latterly it has appeared simul- 
taneous with the Daily, and is known 
as the Weekly Post, its price lately 
having been reduced to Id. 

Saturdai/ Night. — First published, 
Sept. 30, 1882. 

SatnrdMy's Register. — Another of 
George Edmunds' political papers, 
which appeared for a few months in 
1820. 

Spectator. — A literary and dramatic 
monthly, of which seven parts were 
published in 1824. 

Sunday Echo. — First number came 
out May 21, 1882. 

Sunday Express. — Started August, 
1884, and died August, 1885. 

Sunday Telegram. — Started May, 
1883. 

Sunrise. — Rose Nov. 18, 1882, at 
the price of one-halfpenny, and lasted 
a few weeks only. 

Tattler. — April 1817 saw the first 
appearance of t'li? tittle-tattle- tale- 
telling monthly tease to all lovers of 
theatrical order, and August saw the 
last. 

Theatrical Argus. — -Of May and 
following months of 1830. A two- 
penny-worth ot hotch-potch, principally 
scandal. 

Thcatricfil John P>ull. — Published 
in May, 1824, lasting for the season 
only. 

Theatrical Note Book. --Ki'v&\ to 
above in June, 1824, and going off the 
staffe same time. 

Toicn Crier. — This respectable speci- 
men of a local comic appeared first in 
September, 1861, and it deserves a long 
life, if onlv for keeping clear of scandal 
and scurrility 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



167 



Warwick and SlaJ'unlshiir Journal. 
— Thout,'h iiriiited Iiere, tlie town was 
not tlioiight capable of filling its 
oolunni.s ; a little experience snowed 
the two counties to be as bad, and sub- 
scribers were tempted to luiy by the 
issue of an Illustrated Bible and 
Prayer Book sent out in parts with the 
paper. The tir-t No. was that of Aug. 
20, 1737, and it continued till the end 
of Revelations, a large number of co]i- 
perplate engravings being given with 
the Bible, though the price of the 
paper was but 2d. 

Wcekhj Mercury. — Commenced Nov- 
ember, 1884. 

Weekhj News. — A weak attempt at 
a weekly paper, lasted from May to 
September, 1882. 

Newsrooms. —The first to open a 
newsroom were Messrs. Thomson and 
Wrightson, booksellers, who on Aug. 
22, 1807, admitted the public to its 
tables. In 1825 a handsome newsroom 
was erected in Bennett's Hill, the site 
of which was sold in 1858 for the 
County Court, previous to its removal 
to Waterloo Street. 

New Street once called " Beast 
Market," was in Hntton's time 
approa(;hed from High Street through 
an archway, the rooms over being 
in his occupation. In 1817 there 
were several walled - in gardens 
on the Bennett's Hill side of 
the street, and it is on record that one 
house at least was let at the lowrent of 
5f. 6d. per week. The old "Grajies" 
public-house was pulled down just 
after the Queen's visit, being the last 
of the houses removed on account cf 
the railway station. Though it has 
long been the principal business street 
of the town. New street was at one 
time devoted to the ignoble purposes of 
abeast market, and where the fair ladies 
of to-day lightly tread the flags when 
on shopping bent, the swine did wait 
the butcher's knife New S'reet is 
561 yards in length ; between Temple 
Street and Bennett's Hill it is 46^ feet 
wide, and near Worcester Steeet 65 ft. 
4 in. wide. 



Nonconformists. -The so-called 
Ace of Uniformity of 1662 deprived 
nearly 2,000 of the clergy of their 
livings, and a few of them came to 
Birmingham as a place of refuge, 
ministering among the Dissenters, wlio 
then had no buildings for regular 
worship Tiiere were many documents 
in the lost Staunton Collection relating 
to some of the.se clergymen, who, how- 
ever, did not find altogether comfort- 
able (juarters even here, one George 
Long, M.D. , who had fled from his 
persecutors in Staffordshire, finding no 
peace in Birmingham, removed to 
Ireland ; others, though they came 
here by stealth to minister, had to re- 
side in country parts. A Central Non- 
conformist Committee was formed here 
March 3, 1870. 

Nonjurors. — Among tlie name 
of the Roman Catholics, or "Non- 
jurors," who refused to take the oath 
of allegiajice to George I. , appeard that 
of John Styeh, of Birmingham, whose 
forfeited estate was, in 1715, valued at 
£12. 

Northfield.^Four and a-half miles 
from Birmingham. There was a Church 
here at the time of the Norman survey, 
and some troices of its Saxon oiigin, 
students of architecture said, could once 
be found in the ancient doorway on 
the north side of the buihling. Some 
forty years ago the psalmody of the 
congregation and choir received assist- 
ance from the mel lifluous strains ground 
outof a barrel organ, which instrument 
is still prcserveil as a curiosity by a 
gentleman of the neighbourhood. They 
had an indelible way at one time of 
recording local proceedin.s in matters 
connected with the Church here. The 
inscriptions on the six bells cast in 1 730 
being : — 

Treble.- We are now six, tlion;^Ii once but 

five, 
2urt.— Though against our casting some did 

strive, 
3rd.— But when a day for meeting they did 

fix, 
4th. — There apjieared but nine aftaiiist twenty 

six. 



168 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHA.M. 



fttii. —Samuel Palmer and Tliomas Silk 

Churchwardens. 
Tenor.— Thomas Kettle and William Jorvoise 

did contrive 

To make us sis that were but live. 

Notable Offences.— In olden days 

very heavy iiuuisiuiieuls were dealt 
out for what we now tliiuk hut secon- 
dary offences, three men being sen- 
tence I to deatii ar the A.ssizes, held 
March 31, 1742, one An^tey for bur- 
glary, Townsend tor shef-ii-stealioi.', 
and'Wilmot for iiij^h way robbery. The 
laws also took cognisance of what to us 
are strange crimes, a woman in 179C 
being imprisotied here for .selling 
almanacks without the Gov>;riiment 
stamp on them ; sundry tradesmen also 
being heavily fined for dealing in 
covered buttons. The following are a 
few ether notable oifences that have 
been chronicled for reference : — 

Bigamy. — The Rev. Thomas Alorris 
Hughes was, Nov. 15, 1883, si^aenced 
to seven year.s' penal servitude for this 
offence. He had been pieviously 
punished for making a false registra- 
tion of the hirrh of a child, the mother 
of which was his own stepdaughter. 

JJurglary. — On Christmas eve, 1800, 
five men broke into the coucting-house 
at Soho, stealing therefrom 150 
guineas and a lot of silver, hut Matthew 
Boulton captured four of them, who 
were transporteii. — The National 
School at Hands worth, was broken 
into and robbed for the hfth time Sept. 
5, 1827.- — A wateliouse in lirailford 
Street was robbed Jan. 9, 1856, of an 
iron sate, weighing nearly 4cwt. , and 
containing £140 in cash. — A burglary 
was committed in tiie Bull King, July 
5, 1862, tor whicli seveu persons were 
convicted. 

Cmning. — Booth, the i oted coiner 
and forger, was captured at Peri}' Harr, 
JNlarch 28, 1812, iiis liouse being sur- 
rounded by constables and soluiers. lu 
addition to a number of forged notes 
and £600 in counterfeit silver, the 
captors found 200 guineas in gold and 
nearly £3,000 in good notes, but they 
did not save Booth Irom being hanged. 
Booth had many hi'iingplaoes for his 



peculiar iroductions, parcels of si)Urious 
coins having several rimes been found 
iu hedgerow banks and elsewhere ; the 
latest find (in April, 1884) consisted ot 
engraved couper-plates for Bank of 
England £1 and £2 notes. — There 
have been hundreus of coiners pun- 
ished since his day. The latest tiick 
is getting reallygcoddiesforsovereigns, 
for which Ingram Iklborough, an old 
man of three score and six, got seven 
years' pt-nal servitude, Nov, 15 1883. 

Deserters.— Oil 24 July, 1742, a 
.soldier deserted from his regiment in 
this town. Followed, and resisting, he 
was shot at Tettenhali Wood. — A ser- 
geant of the Coldstream Guards was 
shot here wliile trying to capture a de- 
serier, September 13, 1796. 

Dynamite making.— Oim of the most, 
serious oifence-s committed in Bir- 
mingham was discovered when Alfred 
Whitehead was arrested April 5, 1883, 
on the cliarge of manufacturing nitro- 
glycerine, or dynamite, at 123, Ledsam 
Street. Whitehead was one of the 
Irish-American or American-Irish party 
of the Land Leaguers or Home Ruler.s, 
who entertain tlie idea that by com- 
mitting horrible outrages in England. 
they will succeed iu making Ireland 
''free from the galling yoke of Saxon 
tyranny " and every Irishman inde- 
pendent of everybody and everything 
everywhere. Well supplied witli fundi 
from New York, Whitehead quietly 
arranged his little manufactory, buy- 
ing glycerine fi'oni one firm and nitric 
and sulphuric acids from others, certain 
members of the conspiracy conrlng from 
London to take away the stulf wlien it 
was completely mixed. The delivt^ries 
of the peculiar ingredients attracteii 
the attention of Mr, Gilbert Pritchaid, 
whose chemical knowledge led him to 
guess what they were required for ; he 
infoimed his friend, Sergeant Price, ot 
his suspicions ; Price and liis superior 
officers macie nightly visits to Ledsam 
Street, getting into the i)'eiiuses, and 
taking sam[jles for examinatimi ; and 
on the morning named Whitehead's 
gamewasover, ttiough not before he had 
been watched iu sendini: off two lotsot 



8Ui)WKL(.'s DICTIJNAIIY OF B1KMIN<JHAM. 



169 



the ilatige: ouhly i xjilosive stufT to Lon- 
don. There was, liowever, no less than 
2001bs, weij,'ht touii'l still on tlie pro- 
mises. The men who carried it to 
London were quickly cauijht witli 
the dyna'nite in tlicir possession, 
and wi'h Wliitehead were hrousiht 
to trial and each of them sen- 
tenced to penal servitude fjr lit".-. 
The distribiuion of rewards in eoniiec- 
tiuii with the " d3'nai!Uteoutraf,'es," so 
far as Birniingham p'>ople were eon- 
';erned, was somewhat on a similar 
scale to that described by the old 
sailor, when lie said "prize-money" 
was distributed through a ladder, all 
passing through going to the otUt-ers, 
while any sticking to the wood was 
divided among the men. Mr. Farn- 
dale, the Chief of Police, was graufed 
an addition to his salary of £100 jier 
ytar ; Inspector Black was promoted 
to the rank of SaperiiiLeiident, adding 
£50 a year to his .salary, au'i was pre- 
sented with £100 from Government ; 
Sergeant Price became Inspector, wicli 
a rise of £41 12s. a year, and received 
a bonus of £200 ; Inspector Rees' 
salary was raised lo two guineas a 
week, with a gift of £50 ; wliile Mr. 
Pritchard. to whom lielonged the con- 
spicuous service of having given the 
information which led the police to 
act, was rewarded (!) with £50, having 
lost his situation througli his services 
to the public. 

EinbezzlcJitcnls. — In 1871, W. Harri- 
son, the Secretary of tlie liinning- 
ham Gas Conifiany, skedaddled, his 
books showing di-falcations to the 
amount of £18,000 When the coni- 
])any was dissolved, £100 was left in a 
bank for Jlr. Secretary's prosecution, 
should he return to this country. — July 
12, 1877, the secretary of the Moseley 
Skating Rink Company was awarded 
twelve mouths, and the secretary of the 
Butcher's Hide and Skin Company six 
mouths, for similar otl'ences, but for 
small amounts. 

Forgcrir.s. — In the year 1800, seven 
men were liungat Warwick for forgery. 



and with them one for sh'op-stcaling. 
The manufacture of forged bank-notes 
was formerly quite a business here, and 
many cases are on re(!i)rd of the 
detection and punishment of the 
oHenders. — June 28, 1879, the Joint 
Stock Bank were losers of £2,130 
through casliing three forged cheques 
bearing the signature of W. C. B. Cave, 
the clover artist getting rcu years. — 
Nov. 15, 18S3, John Al'rcd Burgui. 
maiugtrrof the Union Bank, for forging 
and uttering a certain order, and 
fidsifying his books, the amounts em- 
liezzled reaching £9,000, was sentenced 
to fifteen years' penal servitide. — Ou 
the ]irevious day Benjamin Robert 
Danks was similarly punished lor for- 
geries on his cnployer, Mr. Jesse 
Herbert, barrister, who hid bnon ex- 
ceedingly kind to him — Zwingli Sar- 
gent, solicitor, was sentenced to live 
years' penal servitude, April 28, 1885, 
for foi gery and misa[iproprialiiig money 
belonging to clients. 

Forlionclelliiuj is still far from being 
ail unconimon offeufc, bat " Methrat- 
ton," the " Greit Seer of England," 
alias John Hartwell, wlio, on March 
28, 1883, was sentenced to nine mouths 
hard labour, must rank as being at 
the top of the peculiar profession. 
Though a " Great Seer" he coald not 
foresee his own fate. 

Hkihicaijmca. — The "gentlemen ©■ 
the road " took their tolls in a very 
free manner in the earlier coaching 
days, notwithstanding that the 
pu'.iisbment dealt out was fr'iqiiently 
that o:' death or, in mild cases, trans- 
p^rtation for life. The Birmingham 
stage coach was stoppaii and robbed 
near Banbury, May 18, 1743, by two 
highwaymen, who, however, w 're cap- 
tured same diy, and were afterwards 
hung. — Mr. Whetley, of Edgbaston, 
was stopped in a lane near his own 
house, and robbed of 20 guiieas by a 
footpad. May 30, 1785. — An attempt 
to rob and murder Mr. Evans v.as ma le 
near Aston Park. July 25, 1789. — Henry 
Wolseley, Esq. (third .-^on of Sir W. 
Wolseley, Bart.), was robbed by high- 



170 



SHOWELL S DICTIONAUY OF BIRMIXGHAM. 



wa3'meii near E''dingtoii, Nov 5,1793. 
— Soni(3 liigliwayinnn robbed a Mr. 
Benton of £90 near Aston Brook, April 
6, 1797.— Tlie coach from Slieliield 
was .stopped by footpads near A^ton 
Park, March 1, 1798, and the pas- 
sengers robbed. — The "Balloon" 
coach was robbed of £S, 000, Dec. 11, 
1822, and the Warwick mail was robbed 
of no less than £20,000 in Itank notes, 
Nov. 28. 1827. 

H(/rrihlc.. — The bodies of eleven 
children were fonn;l buried at back of 
&?•, Long Acre, Nechells, where lived 
Ann Fin>on, a midwife, who said they 
were all still-born, July, 1878. 

Lovg Finns. — A term applied to 
rogues, who, by pretending to be in 
busines>, procure goods by wliolesale, 
and dispose of them fraudulently. W. 
H. Stc])lienson, of this town, a great 
patron of the.K' gentry, was sentenced 
to seven years' penal servitude, Nov. 
22, 1877, for tliepart he had taken in 
one of tliese swindling transactions, 
according to account by far fiom 
being the iirst of the kind he liad had a 
hand iti. 

Next-of-Kiii Fraud. —M^ny good 
people imagine they are entitled to 
property now in other hands, or laid 
up in Cliancery, and to accommodate 
their very natural desire to obtain in- 
formation that would lead to their 
getting possession of same, a " Ne.xt- 
of-Kiu Agency" was opened in Bur- 
lington Passage at the beginning of 
1882. Tha modus oprravdi \va.s of the 
simplest : the Hrm advertised that 
Brown, Jones, and Robinson were 
wanted ; Brown, Jones, and Robinson 
turned up, and a good many of them; 
they paid the enquiry fees, and called 
again. Tliey were assured (every man 
Jack of them) they were rigiit owners, 
and all they had to do was to instruct 
the Hrm to recover. More fees, and 
heavy ones ; the Court must be 
petitioned — more fees ; counsel en- 
gaged—more fees ; case entered for 
hearing — more fees, and so on, as long 
as the poor patients would stand 
bleeding. Several instances were 



known of peonle selling their goods to 
meet the harpies' demands ; clergy- 
men and widows, colliers and washer- 
women, all alike were in the net. It 
became too hot at last, and Roger.-, 
Beeton aud Co., were provided with 
berths in the gaol. At Manchestei 
Assizes, July 18, 1882, J. S. Roger, 
got two years' liaid labour, A. Alac- 
kenzie and J. H. Shakespear (a 
solicitor) each 21 months; and E. A. 
Beeton, after being in gaol si.x month-. 
was ordered to stop a fnrtlier twelve, 
the latter'.s conviction being from thi^ 
town. 

Novel T/tff/s. — A youth of nineteen 
helped himself to £128 from a safe at 
General Hospital, and spent £13 of it 
betoie the magistrates (Jan. 15, 1875) 
could give him six months' lodgings 
at the gaol. — Tliree policemen were 
sent to penal servitude for five years 
for thieving July 8, 1876. — Sept. 19, 
1882, some labourers engaged in laying 
sewage pipes near Newton Street, Cor- 
poration Street, came across some tele- 
graph cables, and under the iinpression 
tliat tliey were "dead" wires, hiiched 
a horse th'ereto and succeeded in drag 
ging out about a dozen yards of no less 
than 33 different cables connecting this 
town with Ireland, tiie Continent, aud 
America. Their prize was sold for 4s. 
6d., but the inconvenience cati.-ed was. 
very serious. Henry Jones, who was 
tiied for tlie trick, pleaded ignorance, 
and was let off. — \t Quarter Sessions, 
Ernest Lotze, got six months for steal- 
ing, Dec. 12, 1892, from liis employer 
S71b. weight of liuman hair, valued at 
£300. 

Personal Outrages. — Maria Ward was 
sentenced to penal servitude December 
18, 1873, for mutilating htr liusbaml 
in a shocking manner. — At Warwick 
Assizes, December 19, 1874, one 
man was sentenced to 15 years, and 
four others to 7 j^ears' penal servitude 
for outraging a woman in Shadwell 
Street. — George Moriarty, {dasterer, 
pushed his wite through the chamber 
window, and on lier clinging to the 
ledge beat her hands with a hammer 



8H0WELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



171 



till she fell and broke her \e<:, May 
31, 1875. It was three months be- 
fore slic could appear a<^ainst hi:i), and 
he had then to wait three niouthsi for 
his trial, which resulted in a twenty 
years' sentence. 

Sacrilege. — In 158o St. Martin's 
Church was robbed of velvet " paul 
cloathes," and also some money be- 
longing to the Uramniar School. — 
Handsworth Church was robbed of its 
sacramental plate, February 10, 
1784 ; and Aston Cliurch was .similarly 
liespoiled, April 21, 1788. — A gross 
sacrilege was committed in Edgbaston 
Church, December 15, 1816. — Four 
Churches were broken into on tlie 
night of January 3, 1873. 

Sedition arid Treason. — George 
Kagg, printer, was imprisoned for 
sedition, February 12, 1821. — George 
Thompson, gun maker, 31, Whittall 
Street, was imprisoned, Augu.st 7, 
1839, for selling guns to the Chartists. 

Shop Robberies. — Diamonds worth 
£400 were stolen from Mr. Wray's 
shop, November 27, 1872. — A jewel- 
ler's window in New Street was 
smashed January 23, 1875, the damage 
and loss amounting to £300. — A bowl 



containing 400 "lion sixpences" was 
stolen from Mr. Thomas's window, in 
New Street, April 5, 1878.— Mr. 
^lole's jeweller's shop, Pligh Street, 
was phindereil of £500 worth, A[iril 
13th, 1881. Some of the works of the 
watches taken were afterwards fi.shed 
up from the bottom of the Mersey, at 
Liverpool. 

Short JFcighL— Jan. 2, 1792, there 
was a general " raid " made on the 
dealers in the market, when many 
short- weit'lit people came to grief. 

Street Shouting. — The Watch Com- 
mittee passed a bye-law, May 14, 1878, 
to stop the \adv shouting' ^3fail, Mail," 
but they go on doing it. 

Sirindlcs. — Maitland Boon Hamilton, 
a gentleuian with a cork leg, was given 
six months ■ n July 25, 1877, for 
fleecing ilr. Llarsh, the jeweller, out of 
some diamonds. — James Beutley, for 
the " Christnias hamper swindle," was 
sentenced to seven years at the Quar 
ter Sessions, May 1, 1878. 

The following tables show the num- 
ber of ollences dealt with by the 
authorities during the live years ending 
with 1882 (the charges, of which only 
a small number have been reported, 
being omitted) : — 

The total number of crimes reported under the head of " indictable offences " 
— namely, Sessions and Assizes cases — the number apprehended, and how dealt 
with, will be gathered from the following summary : — 



Year. Crimes. 


Apprehended. 


Com. 


for trial. 


1878 1746 .... 




495 
474 
451 
435 
515 






349 


1879 1358 .... 








399 


1880 1187 .... 








340 


1881 1343 .... 








351 


1882 1467 








401 


Natuur of Ckime. 


Number 


of Offences Rejiorted. 




1878. 




1879. 


1880. 


1881. 1882. 


Murder 


11 




11 ... 


5 .. 


. 5 ... 4 


Shooting, wouiuling, stabbing, &c. 


30 




23 ... 


8 .. 


. 21 ... 28 


Manslaughter 


4 




3 


• 13 .. 


. 6 ... 8 


Rape, assaults with intent, &c. 


6 




1 ... 


1 


. 9 ... 4 


Bigamy ... 


8 




... 


1 


4 ... 7 


Assaults on peace officers 







4 ... 


.. 


1 ... 2 


Burglary, housebreaking, &c 


6 




112 ... 


80 .. 


. 83 ... 131 


Breaking into shops, kc. 


4 




94 .. 


56 


. 109 ... 120 


Robbery 


— 




9 ... 


6 .. 


. 10 ... 9 


Larcenies (various) 


1146 




959 ... 


845 .. 


. 935 ... 931 



172 



SHOWELLS DICriOXARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Natuhe of Crime. 

1878. 

Receiving stolen goods 22 

Frauds and obtaining by false 

pretences ... ... .. eg 

Forgery ami uttering forged in- 

Btruments ... ... ... f, 

Uttering, &(;., counterfeit coin... 48 

Suicide (attempting) .. ... 20 



Number of Offences Reported. 
1879. 1880. 1881 1882. 

3 ... 16 ... 8 ... 6 



45 

9 

17 



53 



43 
19 



37 

4 
37 
16 



6S» 



The following are the details of the more important olfeiices dealt with .sum- 
marily by the magi.strdtes ciuring the list live years : — 



Offences Punishable 

BY Justices. 
Assanlts (aggravated) on women 
and children .. ... ... 78 

Assauirs on ptace- officers, resist- 
in.?, &''. 479 

Assaultrs, common ... ... 15r)4 

Breaches of peace, want of sure- 
ties, &c. ... ... ... 426 

Cruelty to animals 154 

E!e:Mentiry Education Act, 
oflrtnces against .. ... 1928 

Employers and Work.shops Act, 
1875 ... ... ... ... 224 

Factory Acts ... ... ... ]2 

Licensing Acts otiences 267 

Drunkenness, drunk and dis- 
orderly 2851 

Lord's Dav oll'euces ... ... 46 



iNumber oi i.ersojis proceeded agniiust. 
1878 1879'. 1880. 1881. 1382. 



390 
1242 

381 
( 7 

2114 

198 

263 

242S 
4 



. 68 

. 340 
.1293 

. 287 
. 129 

.1.^89 

.. ISf) 
,. 17 
.. 132 



.. 340 
..1207 

.. 219 
.. 128 

..1501 



155 

11 

254 



.2218 ...2345 
1 ... 



. 3S.-5 
..1269 

.. 244 
.. 94 

..175.''> 

.. 154 
.. 62 
.. 297 

...2413 




1878. 
Local Act?i and Bye-law-!, ollen- 

ces against 4872 

Malicious anil wilful damige ... 187 
Public Heilth Act, smoke, 

etc ;!17 

Poor Law Acts, offences against 203 

Stealing or uttempts (larcenies) 1094 

Vagrant Act, olfences under ... 614 

Other olfences 214 

The following are the totals of the 
summarj^ ottences for the .same period, 
and the manner in whicli thev were 
disposed of : — 



Number of persons pr.)ceedcd against, 



1879 

4327 
163 

172 
220 
1222 
622 
174 



1880. 

.4127 
. 163 



1881. 



1882. 



.3702 ...3603 
. 214 ... 225 



. 104 ... 104 ... 161 

.251 ... 243 ... 325 

.1434 ...1253 ...1235 

. 624 ... 611 ... 783 

. 172 ... 211 ... 386 



Ypar. 

1878 
187i> 
1880 
1881 
1882 



Cases. 
16,610 
14,475 
13,589 
1:5,007 
ia,788 



Convicted. 
12,707 
10,904 
9,917 
9,408 
10,171 



Fined. 

8,940 

7,473 

6,730 

6,41J 

0,372 



Similar statisticb for 1883 have uot 
yet been made up, but a return up to 
December 31 of that y^ar shows that 
the number ■ of i)ersons committed 
during the jear to the l>oroiu,di (laol, 
or, as ir is now termed, her Majfrsty's 
Pri.son ;it Win.sou Green, were 3,044 
mahs and 1,045 f-^males I'rom the 
borough, and 1,772 males and 521 



SHOWKI.l, !S nrCTION'AUY OK fURMlNOM AJI. 



173 



females from cHstricts, niakiujr a total 
of 6,382 as atraiiist 6,565 in 1882. In 
the hoi'Oiigii 731 m.iies and 193 
t'eniaies had boeii oominittel (ov 
tV.louy, 1,040 nialiib and 290 females 
for misdemeanuur, 707 males aud 329 
females roiMii-iinkunnuss, and 243 males 
and 121 fem;iles for vatfiaucy. Of 
prisDiier.s sixteen \-ears old and uiulor 
there were 193 males aud 21 female.--. 

Noteworthy Men of the Past. 

— Thoii^di in the aiuiiili of Birming- 
ham history tlie names cd" very many 
men of note in art, seieiice, and litera- 
ture, commerce and politics, are to be 
found, comparatively speaking there 
are few of real native origin. Most of 
our best men have come from other 
]>arts, as will be seen on looking over 
the notices which follow this. IJnder 
the heading of " Parsoiis, Preachers, 
ami Priests," will be found others of 
different calibre. 

Allday. — The "Stormy Petrel" of 
modern Birmiugham was Joseph, or, 
as he was better known, Joey Allday, 
whose hand at one time, was again-t 
every man, and every man's hand 
against Joe. Born in 1798, Mr. Ai 
day, on arriving at years of maturit}', 
joined his brothers iu the wire-drawing 
business, but tliough it is a painful 
.sight to see (as Dr. Watts says) children 
of one family do very often disagree, 
even if they do not fall out aud chide 
and fight ; but Josefdi was fond of 
fighting (though not with his fists), and 
after quarelling and dissolving part- 
nership, as one of his brothers pub- 
lished a little paper .so must he. This 
was in 1824, and Joey styled his 
periodical Tlte Mousctra}), footing his 
owu articles with the name of " Argui^." 
How many Mousetraps Allday sent to 
TMarket is uncertain, as but one or two 
copies only are known to bo in existence, 
and equally uncertain is it whether the 
speculation was a paying one. His 
next literary notion, however, if not 
pecuniarilv successful, was most as- 
suredly popular, as well as notorious, 
it being the rauch-talked-of Argus. 
The dozen or fifteen years following 



1820 were ratlier {(rMlih- in embryo 
publications and periodicals of otic kind 
and another, and it is a matter of dilFi- 
eulty to a> certain now the exact parti- 
culars re.^i)ecting many of tiiem. All- 
day'.s venture, which was originally 
called Tlic Monlldti Argus, first 
saw the light in August, 1828. and, 
considering the time-, it was a toler- 
ably well-conducted sheet of iter- 
ary mis-ellany, prominence being 
given to local theatrical mat ers and 
similar sutgects, which were fairly 
criticised. Ten numbers followed, iu 
due monthly order, but the volume for 
the year was not completed, as in 
July, 1830, a new series of TA<' Argus 
was commeneed in Magizine shape 
and published at a shilling. The 
editor of this new series had evidently 
turned over a new leaf, but he must 
have done so with a dungfurc, for the 
publication became nothing better 
than the receptacle of rancour, si)ite, 
and calumny, public men and private 
individuals alike being attacked, and 
often in the mo.>t scurrilous manner. 
The printer (who was still alive a few- 
years b'ick) was William Chidlow and 
on his head, of course, fell all the 
wrath of the people libelled and de- 
famed. George Frederick Muntz horse 
whipped him, others sued him for 
damages, and even George Edmonds 
(none too tender-tougued himself) could 
not stand the jibes and jeers of Tlic 
Argit-s. The poor [irinter was arrested 
on a warrant for libel ; his types and 
presses were confiscated under a par 
ticular section of the Act for rei;ulating 
newspapers, and Allday himself at 
the March A.ssizes in 1831 was found 
guilty on several indictments for libel, 
and sentenced to ten months' impri- 
sonment. A third series of The Argiis 
was started June 1st, 1832, soon after 
Allday 's release from Warwick, and as 
the vile scurrility of the earlier paper 
was abandoned to a great extent, it 
was permitted to appear as long as 
customers could be found to support 
it, ultimately dying out with the 
last month" of 1834. To Mr. 



174 



SHOWKLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Joseph Allday ni'ist credit be 
given for the exposure of namerons 
abuses existing in liis day. He Iiad 
but to get proper insight into any- 
thing going on wrong than he at once 
attacked it, tootli and nail, no matter 
who stooil in the roa(], or wlio suffered 
from his blows. His efforts to put a 
stop to the cruelties connected with 
the old sysem of itnprisonnient and 
distraint for debt led to the abolition 
of theincal Courts of Requests ; and his 
wrathful indignation on learning the 
shocking manner in which prisoners at 
the goal were tieated by the Governor, 
Lieutenant Austin, in 1852-53, led to 
tiie well-remembered "Gaol Atrocity 
Enquiry," and earned for liim the 
thanks of the Commissioners appointed 
by Government to make the en(juiry. 
As a Town Councillor and Alderman, 
as a Poor Law Guardian and Chairman 
of the Board, as Par sh Warden for St. 
Martin's and an opponent of church- 
rates (while being a good son of 
Mother Church), as founder of the 
Ratepayers' Protecti n Society and a 
popular leader of the Conservative 
party, it needs not saying that Mr. 
Allday lial many enemies at all 
periods of his life, but there were very 
few to speak ill of him at the time of 
his death, which resulted from injuries 
received in a fall on Oct. 2iid, 1861. 

Allen, J. — Local portrait painter of 
some repute from 1802 to 1820. 

Aston, John, who died Sept. 12, 
1882, in his 82nd year, at one time 
took a leading share in local affairs. 
He was High Baihff in 1841, a J. P. 
for tlie county, for 40 years a Governor 
of the Grammar School, and on the 
boards of management of a number of 
religious and charitable institutions. 
A consistent Churchman, he was one 
of the original trustees of the "Ten 
Churches Fund," one of the earliest 
works of church extension in Bir- 
mingham ; he was also the chief pro- 
moter of the Church of P]ngl;uid 
■Cemeterj', and the handsome church 
of St. Michael, which stands m the 
Cemetery grounds, was largely due to 



his efforts. In politics Mr. Aston was 
a staunch Conservative, and was one 
of the trustees of the once notable 
Constitutional Association 

Attwoad. — The foremost name of the 
(lavs of Reform, when the voice of 
Libttral Birmingham male itself heard 
through its leaders was that of Thomas 
Attwood. A native of Salop, born 
Oct. (5, 1783, he becime a resident here 
soon after coining of age, havingjoined 
Messrs. Spooner's Bank, thence and 
afterwards known as Spooner and Att- 
wood's. At tlie early age of 28 he was 
chosen High Bailiff', and soon made 
his mark by opposing the renewal of 
the Eist Lidia Co. 's charter, and by 
his exertions to obtain the withdrawal 
of the "Orders in Council," which in 
1812, had paralysed the trade of the 
country' with America. The part he 
took in the great Reform meetings, his 
triumplunt reception after the passing 
of the Bill, and his being sent to Par- 
liament as one of the first representa- 
tives for the borough, are matters 
which have been too many times di- 
lated upon to neeil recapitulation. Mr. 
Attwood had peculiar views on the 
currency question, and pertinaciously 
pressing them on his fellow members 
in the House of Commons he was 
not liked, and only held his seat 
until the end of Dec, 1839, the 
last jH'ominent act of his political 
life being the presentation of a monster 
Chartist petition in the previous June. 
He afterwards retired into private life, 
ultima'ely dying at Malvern, March 6, 
1856, bemg then 73 years of age. 
Clinies Attwood, a brother, but who 
look lesi pirt in ])olitics, retiring from 
the Political Union when he thought 
Thomas and his friends were verging 
on the precipice of revolution, was well 
known in the north of England iron 
and steel trade. He died Feb. 24, 
1875, in his 84th year. Another 
brother Benjamin, who left politics 
alone, died Nov. 22, 1874, aged 80. 
No greater contrast could possibly be 
drawn than that shown in the career of 
these three gentlemen. The youngest 



SllOWELI^S DICTIONARY oK BIRMINGHAM. 



175 



brother wiio iiulnstfioiisly attemled to 
liis b;i.siiie-s till he had acijiiireil a 
coiinieteiit fortune, also inherited onor- 
mous wealth fiMin a nejthew, ami after 
his death he was proved to have been 
the long unknown but inucli soujiht 
after anonymous donor of the £1,000 
notes so eoDtinunusly acknowledged in 
the Timri as having been si-nt to Lon- 
don hospitals and cliarities. It was 
said that Uynjaniin Attwood distri- 
buted nearly £300,000 in this unosten- 
tatious manner, and his name will be 
ever blessed. Charles Attwood was 
described as a great and f,ood man, and 
a henefaefor to liis race. His di-co- 
veries in the nianufaeture of glass and 
steel, and liis opening u[) of the Cleve- 
laud iron district, has given employ- 
ment to thousands, ami as one wlio 
knew him well sai'i, " If he had cared 
more about money, and less about 
science, he could have been one of the 
richest commoners in England ;" but 
he was unseltish, and let other reap 
the benefit of his best patents. What 
the elder brother was, most Brums 
know ; he worked hard in tlie cause of 
Liberalism, he was almost idolis-d 
here, and his statue stands not far 
from the site of the Bank with which 
his name was unfortunately connected, 
and the failure of which is still a stain 
on local commercial history. 

Baldioin, James. — Born in the first 
month of the present century, came 
liere early in his teens, worked at a 
printer's, saved his money, an em- 
ployer at 2h, made a speciality of 
"grocer's printing," fought hard in 
the battle against the " taxes on 
knowled<;e," becduie Alderman and 
Mayor, and ultimately settled down 
on a farm near his own paper mills at 
King's Norton, where, Dec. 10, 1871, 
he finished a practically useful life, 
regretted by many. 

Bayley, C. H. — A Worcestershire 
man and a Staffordshire resident ; a 
persevering collector of past local and 
county records, and an active member 
of the Archaeological section of the 
Midland Institute. Mr. Biyley was 



also a member of the Stalfbrdshire 
Archffiological Society, and took 
si)ecial interest in the William Salt 
Library at Stafford, whose trea-suree 
were familiar to him, atid whose con- 
tents he Wis ever ready to search and 
report on far any of his friends. In 
18t59 lie issued the first of some pro- 
jiosed reprints of .some of his own rari- 
ties, in "A True Relation of the 
Terrible Earthquake at West Brum- 
niidge, in Staffordshire," &,c. , printed 
in 167(5 ; and early in 1882 (the year 
()( his death) " The Rent Rolls of Lord 
Dudley and Ward in 1701 " — a very 
curious con ribution to local history, 
and full of general interest also. 

Bealc, Simuel.— At one period a 
most prominent man among our local 
worthies, one of tlie first Town Coun- 
cillors, and Mayor in 1841. He was 
Chairman of the Midland Railway, a 
dirertor of the Birmingham and Mid- 
land I'ank, and sat as M.P. for Derby 
from 1857 to 1865. He died Sept. 11, 
1876, aged 71. 

Bcalc, W. J.-- A member of the 
legal firm of Beale, Marigold, and 
Beale. Mr. Beale'.s chief Tmblic ser- 
vice was rendered in connection with 
tlie General Hospital and the Musical 
Festivals. He was for many years a 
member of the Orchestral Coiiuuittee 
of the Festivals, and in 1870 he suc- 
ceeded Mr. J. 0. Mason as chairman ; 
retaining this position until after the 
Festival of 1876. His death took place 
in July, 1880, he then being in his 
7(ith \'ear. 

BiUuifr, Martin.— Founder of the 
firm of .Martin Billing, Sons, k Co. 
Livery Street, died July 17, 1883, at 
tiie age of 71. He commenced life 
under his uncle, Alderman Baldwin, 
and was the first to introduce steam 
lirinting machines into Birmingham. 
The colossal structure which f ces the 
Great Western Railway Station was 
erected about twenty-nine years ago. 

Bissct, James, was the publisher of 
the " Magnificent Directory " and 
" Poetic Survey " of Birmingham, pre- 



176 



8HOWKf.l.8 DiOTIONARV OF BinMlNGlJAM. 



seuted to tlie pnblic, -laiiuuij' 1, 
1800, 

Bovlij, Vj. 0. — A native, self-tan^ht 
artist, whose pictures now fetch rapidly- 
incroasin<,' sums, thouiili for the best 
part of liis long life (iealcr.s and tlie 
general run of art patrons, vvhih' ac- 
knowleiloinL'' the excellence of the 
work.<, would not buy them. Mr. 
Bowly, however, lived sutlieiently long 
to know that the few gentlemen who 
honoured him in his younger years, 
were well recompeii.^ed for their kind 
recognition of his talent, t ough it 
came too late to be of service to him- 
self. His death oeciaTed Feb. 1, 1876, 
iu liis 70th year. 

Briggs. — Major W. B. Briggs, who 
was struck otf tiie world's roster Jan. 
25, 1877, was one of the earliest and 
most ardent supporters of the Volun- 
teer movement in Biriningliani, being 
gazetted ensign of the 2nd Company 
iu November, 1859. He was a hearty 
kindly man, and much esteemed iu 
and out of tlie ranks. 

Burritt, Elihu, tlie American 
"learned biacksmith," having made 
himself {)roticient iu fifteen (iifferent 
languages. He first addressed the 
•' Friends of Peace " iu this town, Dec. 
15, 184(5, when on a tour through the 
country. He afterwards returntd, and 
resided iu England for nearly twenty- 
five year;;, being for a considerable 
time United Stites Consul at Birming- 
ham, which he left in 1868. During 
his residence here he took an active 
share in the work of did'asing tie prin- 
ciples of toraperance and peace, both 
by lecturing and by his writings. 

Bynncr, Heury.— A native of the 
town ; forty- five years British Consul 
at Trieste ; returned here in 1842, and 
died in 1867. He learned shorthand 
writing of Dr. Priestley, and was the 
ijr3t to use it in a law court in this 
county. 

Gailbury, Richard Tapper. — A draper 
and haberdasher, wiio started business 
here in 1794. One of the Board of 
Guardians, and afterwards Cliairman 
(for 15 years) of the Commissioners of 



the Streets, uutil tliat body was done 
away with. Mr. Cadbury was one of 
the most respected and best known 
men of the town. He died March 13, 
1860, iu liis 92nd year, being buried 
in Bull Street among liis d'ejiarted 
friends. 

Caper II, Edward. —Sometimes called 
the "poet-[)ostman," is a Devonshire 
man, but resided for a considerable 
time at Harborue. He deserves a 
jilace among our noteworthy men, if 
only for his sweet lines on the old 
Love lane at Edgbaston, now known 
as Richmond Hill. 

" But no vestige of the bankside lingers now 

or j;ate to show 
The track of the old vanisljed lane of love's 

.sweet long ago." 

Cnrcu, Rev. Henry Francis, au\tive 
of this town (boru in 1772), vicar of 
Bromley Abbots, Staffordshire, him- 
self a poet of nc mean order, trans 
lated in blank verse Dante's "Inferno," 
the " Divinn Commedia," &c., his 
works running rapidly through several 
editions. For some time he was assis- 
tant librarian at the British Museum, 
and afterwards received a pension of 
£200 a year. Diet! in 1844, and lies 
in "Poet's Corner," Westminster 
Abbey. 

Chamberlain, John Henry. — Came 
to Birmingham in 1856, and died 
suddenly on the evening of Oct. 22, 
1883, after delivering a lecture in the 
Midland InsiitutfS on "Exotic Art." 
An architect of most brilliant talent, 
it is almost impossible to record the 
buildings with which (in conjunction 
with his partner, Mr. \\ m. Martin) he 
has adorned our town. Among them 
are the new Free Libraries, the extension 
of the Midland Institute, the Hospitals 
f(;r Women and Children, the many 
Board Schools, the Church of St. 
David, and that at Selly Hill the 
Rubery Asylum, the Fire BrigaJe 
Station, the Constitution Hill Library, 
Monument Lane Baths, the Chamber- 
lain Memorial, the Canopy over Daw- 
sou's Statue, several Police Stations, 
with shops and private houses in- 



SHOWBLL'a DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



177 



numerable. He was a true artist in 
every sense of the wcinl, an eloquent 
speaker, and one of the most sincere, 
tlioutrhtful, and lovingly-earnest men 
that Birmingliam has ever been blessed 
with. 

Clegg. — SaTnuel Clegg was born at 
Manchester, March 2, 1781, but Ids 
early years were passed at the Soho 
Works, where he was assistant to Mr. 
Murdoch in the gradual introduction 
of ligliting with gas. In 1807 Mr. 
Clegg first used lime as a puiitier and 
in 1815 he patented the water meter. 
In addition to his many inventions 
connected with the manufacture and 
supply of gas. Mr. Clegg tnu't be 
credited with the iutroiiuction of the 
atmospheric railways, which attracted 
so much attention some five-and -forty 
years ago, and also with many im- 
provements ill steam engines. 

Oollins. — Mr. John Collins, an ex- 
ceedingly popular man in his day, and 
quite a local author, made his first 
appearance here Jan. 16, 1793, at 
"The Gentlemen's Private Theatre," 
in Livery Street, with an eutertain- 
nient called "Collins' New Embel- 
lished Evening Brush, for Rubbing oft" 
the Ruse of care." This became a 
great favourite, and we find Collins for 
years after, giving similarperlormances, 
many of them beiuij for the purpose of 
paying for "'soup for the poor" in 
the distressful winters of 1799, 1800, 
and 1801. Not so much, however, on 
account of his charity, or his unique 
entertainment, must Mr. Collins be 
ranked among local worthies, as for 
'* A Poetical History of Birmingham " 
written (or rather partly written) by 
him, which was published in Swiiuiey's 
Chronicle. Six chapters in verse ap- 
peared (Feb. 25 to April 7, 1796), 
when unfortunately the poet's muse 
seems to have failed him. As a sa;ni)le 
of the fun contained in the seven or 
eight dozen verses, we quote the 
first — 



" Of Birmingham's name, tlio'a deal lias been 
said, 
Yet a little, we doubt, to the purpose, 
As wlieu "hocus pocus " was jaif^ou'd in- 
stead 
Of the Catholic text " hoc est coijjks." 

For it, doubtless, for ages was Biomwichara 
called, 
But liistorians, their readers to bam. 
Have Brum, Wicli, and Uain so cunupted 
and maiil'd. 
That their strictures have all proved a 
tlam. 

That Brom implies Broom none will dare to 
deny, 
And liat Wich means a Village or Farm ; 
Or a Slope, or a Saltwork, the last may 
imply, 
And to read Ham for Town is no harm. 

But when jumbled together, like stones in 
a bag, 
To make it a Broom-sloping town. 
Credulity's pace at such 'iiggling must 
flag, 
And the critic indignant will frown. 

Tis so much like the Gazetteer's riddle-my- 
TL-e, 
Who, iriitw.sting Antiquity's cable, 
Makes Barnstaple's town with its name to 
agree. 
Take its rise from a Barn and a Stable. 

Collins' own comical notion gives the 
name as " Briniininghaui," from the 
brimming goblets so freel}' quaffed by 
our local sons of Vulcan. Digbeth ho 
makes out to be a "dug bath," or 
horsepond for the farriers ; Deritend, 
from der (water). 

"Took its name from the swamp where th» 
hamlet was seated, 
And imi)ly'd 'twas the water-wet-eud of the 
town.'' 

Cox, David — On the 29 th of April, 
1783, this great painter — the man 
whose works have made Bifiningliara 
famous in art — was born in a liumblo 
dwelling in Heath Mill Lane, Deritend, 
where his father carried on tiie trade 
of a smitli. Some memorials of him 
we have — in the noble gift of a luur 
ber of his pictures in oil, presented to 
the town by the late J\Ir. Joseph 
Nettlefjld ; in the portrait by Mr. J. 
Watson G ndon, and the bust by Mr. 
Peter Hollins ; in the two lii^graphies 
of him — both of them Birmingham 



178 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OK BIRMINGHAM, 



works — the earlier by Mr. Neal Solly, 
and the more recent one by the late 
Mr. William Hall ; besides the me- 
morial window put up by loving 
Iriends in the Parish Church of Har- 
borne, where the latter part of the 
artist's life was passed, and in the 
churi;hy«rd of which his remains were 
laid. He bade his pictures and the 
world good-bye on the 9th of June, 
1859. A sale of some of " dear old 
David's" works, in London, May, 
1873, realised for the owners over 
£25,000, but what the artist himself 
originally had for thern may be 
gathered from the instancB of his 
•' Lancaster Castle," otherwise known 
as " Peace and War," a harvest-field 
scene, with troops marching by, only 
24in. by 18in. in size. This picture 
he gave to a friend at first, but 
bought it back lor £20, at a 
time when his friend wanted cash ; 
he sold it for the same amount, 
and it afterwards got into the po.-ses- 
sion of Joseph Gillott, the pen maker, 
at the sale of whose collection " Lan- 
caster Castle " was knocked down for 
£3,601 10s. The highest price Cox 
ever received for a picture, and that 
on one single occasion only, was £100 ; 
in another case he had £95 ; his siver- 
age prices for large pictures were rather 
under than over £50 a piece in his 
best days. " The Sea Shore at Rhyl," 
for whicli he received £100, has been 
since sold for £2,300; "The Vale of 
Clwyd," for which he accepted £95, 
brought £2,500. Two pictures for 
which he received £40 each in 1847, 
were sold in 1872 for £1,575 and £1,550 
respectivelv. Two others at £40 each 
have sold since for £2,300 and £2,315 
5s. respectively. His church at "Bettws- 
y-Coed " one of the finest of his paint- 
ings, fetched £2,500 at a sale in Lon- 
don, in March, 1884. In the hall of 
the Royal Oak Inn, Bettwsy-Coed 
(David's favourite place), there is fixed 
a famous irignboard which Cox painted 
for the house in 1847, and which gave 
rise to considerable litigation as to its 
ownership being vested in the tenant 



or tlie owner, the decision being in the 
latter's favour. 

Cox, William Sands, F.R.S. and 
F.R.C.S., the son of a local surgeon, 
was born in 1801. After "walking 
the hospitals " in London and Paris, he 
settled here in 1825, being appointed 
surgeon to the Dispens-ary, and in 1828, 
with the co-operation of the late 
Doctors Johnstone and Booth, and 
otlujr influeniial friends, succee(ied in 
organising the Birmingham Royal 
School of Medicine and Surgery, which 
proved eminently successful until, by 
the munificent aid of the Rev. Dr. 
Warneford, it was converted into 
Queen's College by a charter of incor- 
poration, which was granted in 1843. 
The Queen's Hospital was also founded 
mainly through the exertions of Mr. 
Sands Cox, for the education of the 
medical students of the College. In 
1863 Mr. Cox retired from practice, 
and went to reside near Tarnworth, 
afterwards removing to Leamington 
and Kenil worth, at which latter place 
he died, December 23rd, 1875. He 
was buried in the family vault at 
Aston, the coffin being carried to the 
grave by six old students at the 
College, funeial .'carfs, hatbands, and 
" other such ]iiecss of muinmery " 
being dispensed with, according to 
the deceased's wish. He left many 
chnritable legacies, among them being 
£15,000, to be dealt with in the 
following manner : — £3,000 to be 
applied in building and endowing a 
cluu'ch tlsen in course of erection at 
Balsall Heath, and to be known as St. 
Thomas-in-flie-Moors, and the remain- 
ing £12,000 to be devoted to the erec- 
tion and endowment of three dispen- 
saries — one at Balsall Heatli, one at 
Aston, and the other at Hockley. Two 
sums of £3,000 were left to found 
dispensaries at Trmworth and Kenil- 
worth, and a cottage hospital at 
Moreton-in-theMarsh his m dical 
library and a number cf other articles 
being also left for the last-nanied 
institution. 

Davits, Dr. Birt. — By birth a Hamp- 



SHOWELl's dictionary of mUMJNGHAM. 



179 



shire man, i»y deycciit a Welshman, 
coining to Biimingha'u in 1823, Dr. 
Davies Ko;)n hecaTue a man of local 
not?. As a politician in tlie pre-Re- 
fonn (lays, as a ])hysician of p.miiKmce, 
and as liorougli Coroner tor three 
dozen yeais, he occapicd a prominent 
position, well jastitied by his capacity 
and force of character. Ho took an 
active part in the founding of the 
Birmingham School of ]\Iedicine, the 
forernnuer of the Queen's College, and 
was elected one of the three lirst 
physicians to the Queen's Hospital, 
being its senior physician for sixteen 
years. When the Charter of Incor- 
poration was granted, Dr. Davies was 
chosen by the Town Council as the 
first Coroner, which ofEce he held 
until June 8th, 1875, when he re- 
signed, having, as he wrote to the 
Council, on the 29th of May termi- 
nated his 36th year of office, and 76tli 
year of his age. Though an ardent 
politician, it is from his Coronership 
that he will be remembered most, 
having held about 30,000 inquests 
ill his long term of office, during the 
whole of v/hich time, it has been said, 
he never took a holid;iy, appointed u 
deputy, or slept out of the borough. 
His official dignity sat heavily upon 
him, his temper of Lite j'ears often led 
him into conflict with jurors and medi- 
cal witnesses, but he was well respected 
by all who knew the (juiet unpretend- 
ing benevolence of his character, never 
better exhibited than at the time of 
the cholera panic in 1832. The doctor 
had estiblislied a Fever Hospital in 
Bath Row, ;ind here he received and 
treateil, by himself, the only cases of 
Asiatic idiolera im[iorted into tlie 
town. He died December 11th, 
1878. 

De Lys, Dr. — One of the physicians 
to the General Hospital, and the })ro 
poser of tlie Deaf and Dumb Institu- 
tion. A native of Brittany, and one 
of several French refugees who settled 
here when driven from their own 
country, at the time of the Revolution, 
Dr. De Lys remained with us till his 



death, August 24r,h, 1831, being then 
in his 48 til year. 

Dighy, John, made Lord Digby in 
1618, and Etrl of Bristol in 1622, was 
born at Col^shill in 15S0. He was 
sent Ambassador to Spain by James I. 
to negotiate a marriage between Prince 
Charles and the Infan'a. He, went 
abroad when the Civil War broke out, 
and died at Paris in 16i>3. 

JSdmonds. — George Edmonds, was a 
son of the Baptist minister of Bond 
Street Chapel, and was born in 1788. 
For many years after he grew up 
George kept a school, but afterwards 
devoted himself to the Law, and was 
appointed Clerk of the Peice on the 
incorporation of the borough. For 
taking part in what Government chose 
to consider an illegal meeting Mr. 
Edmonds had to sufier 12 months' im- 
prisonment, but it only increased his 
jiopnlavity and made him recognised 
as leader of the Radical party. During 
the great Reform movements he was 
always to the fore, and there can be 
little doubt ttiat it was to his untiling 
energy tliat the Political Union owed 
much of its success. In his later years 
he printed (partly with his own hands) 
one of the strangest works ever issued 
from the press, being nothiug less 
than an alphabet, grammar, and dic- 
tionary of a new and universil lan- 
guage. On this he must have spent an 
immense amount of philosophical and 
philological rcseandi tluiing the busiest 
years of his active life, but like other 
schemes of a similar character it came 
into the world some scores of genera- 
tions too soon. His death took place 
(hastened by his owm hand) July 1, 
1868. 

Everitt, Allen Edward. — Artist, anti- 
quarian, and archasologist. It is re- 
ported that his portfolio contained more 
ihau a thousand sketches of hisown tak- 
ing, ofold churches, mansions, cottages, 
or barns in the Midland Counties. Born 
here in 1824 Mr. Everitt had reached 
his 55th year before taking to himself 
a wife, whom he left a widow June 11, 
1882, through catching a cold while on 



180 



8H0WELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM 



a sketching tour. He was mneh loved 
in all artistic circles, having been (for 
twenty-four years) hen. sec. to the 
Society of Artists, a most zealous coad- 
jutor of the Free Libraries Committee, 
and honorary curator of the Art Gal- 
lery ; in private or public life he spoke 
ill of no man, nor could any speak of 
him with aught but affection and re- 
spect. 

Fletcher, George. — Author of the 
" Provincialist " and other poems, a 
journeyman printer, and mucli re- 
spected for his genial character and 
honest kind-heartedness. Died Feb. 
20, 1874, aged 64. 

Fothergill, John. — Taken into part- 
nership by Matthew Boulton in 1762, 
devoting himself ])rincipally to the 
foreign agencies. Many of the branches 
of trade in which he was connected 
proved failures, and he died insolvent 
in 1782, while IJculton breasted the 
storm, and secured fortune by means 
of his steam engines. He did nor, 
however, forget his first partner's widow 
acd children. 

Fax, Charles Fox, of the firm of Fox, 
Henderson and Co., was born at Derby, 
March 11, 1810. His first connection 
with this town arose from his being 
engaged with Stephenson on the con- 
struction of the Birmingham and Livei"- 
pool line. He was knighted in 1851, 
in recognition of his wonderful skill as 
shown in the erection of the Inter- 
national Exhibition of that year, and 
we have a local monument to his fame 
in the roof which spans the New Street 
Station. Hedied inl874, andwasburied 
at Nunhead Cemetery, London. Tiie 
firm of Fox, Henderson and Co., was 
originally Bramah and Fox, Mr. Hen- 
derson not coming in till tlie death of 
Mr. Bramah, a well-known ironmaster 
of this neighbourhood, and whose 
name is world-famous for his cele- 
brated locks. 

Gcach. — Charles Geach was a Cornish- 
man, born in 1808, and came to Bir- 
mingham in 1826 as one of tlie chirks 
in the Branch Bank of England, then 
opened. In 1836 he was instrumental 



n the formation of two of our local 
banks, and became the manager of one 
of them, the Birmingham and Midland. 
In 1842 he made a fortunate specula 
tion in the purchase of some extensive 
ironworks at Rotherham just previous 
to the days of "the railway mania." 
The profits on iron at that time were 
something wonderful ; as a proof of 
which it I'.as been stated that on one 
Ofcasiou Mr. Geach took orders for 
30,000 tons at £12, the'cost to him not 
being more than half that sum ! The 
Patent Shaft "Works may be said to 
have owed its origin also to this gentle- 
man. Mr. Geach was chosen mayor 
for 1847, and in 1851 was returned to 
Parliament for Coventry. His death 
occurred Nov. 1, 1854. A full-length 
portrait hangs in the board-room of 
the bank, of which he retained the 
managing-directorship for many years. 
• Gem, Major Thomas Henry. — The 
well-known Clerk to the Magistrates, 
born Mav 21, 1819, was the ))ioneer 
of the Volunteer movement in this 
town, as well as the originator of the 
fashionable game of lawn tennis. A 
splendid horseman, and an adept at 
all manly games, he also ranked 
high as a dramatic author, and no 
amateur theatricals could be got 
through without his aid and presence. 
His death, November 4, 1881, re- 
sulted from an accident which occurred 
on June 25 previous, at the camp in 
Sutton Park. 

Gillutt. — Jo?eph Gillott was born at 
Sheffield in 1799, but through want of 
work found his way here in 1822, 
spending his last penny in refreshments 
at the old publicfiouse then standing 
at corner of Park Street, where the 
Museum Concert Hall exists. His first 
employment was buckle making, and 
being steady he soon took a garret in 
Bread Street and became his own master 
in the manufacture of buckles and other 
" steel toys." The merchant who used 
to buy of him said " Gillott made very 
excellent goods, and came for his 
money every week." It was that 
making of excellent goods and his un- 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



181 



tiring perseverance tliat secured him 
success. His sweetlieart was sister to 
William and John Mitchell, and it is 
questionable whether Gillott's first 
efforts at making steel pens did not 
spring from the knowledge he gained 
from her as to what the Mitchells were 
doing in that line. The Sheffield 
blade, however, was the first to bring 
the " press" into the process of making 
the pens, and that secret he must have 
kept pretty closely from all but his 
lass, as Mr. J. Gillott often told, in 
after life, how, on the morning of his 
marriage, he began and finished a gross 
of pens, and sold them ior £7 4s. before 
they went to church. The accumula- 
tion of his fortune began from that day, 
the name of Gillott in a very few years 
being known the wide world over. The 
penmaker was a great patron of the 
artists, gathering a famous collection 
which at his death realised £170,000. 
His first interview with Turner was 
described in an American journal a few 
years back. Gillott having rudely 
pushed his way into the studio and 
turning the pictures about without 
the artist deigning to notice the in- 
truder, tried to attract attention by ask- 
ing thepricesof three paintings. Turner 
carelessly answered "4,000 guineas," 
" £3,000," and " 1,500 guineas." " I'll 
take the three," said Gilloit. Then 
Turner rose, with " Who the devil are 
you to intrude here against my orders ? 
You must be a queer sort of a beggar, 
I fancy." "You're another queer 
beggar" was the reply. "I am Gillott, 
the penmaker. M}' banker tells me 
you are clever, and 1 have come to buy 
some pictures." "By George!" quoth 
Turner, "you are a droll fellow, I must 
say." " You're another," said Gillott. 
"But do you really want to purchase 
those pictures," asked Turner. "Yes, 
in course I do, or I would not have 
climheii those blessed stairs this morn- 
ing," was the answer. Turner mar- 
velled at the man, and explained that 
he had fixed the prices named under 
the idea that he had only got an im- 
pertinent intruder to deal with, that 



two of the pictures were already sold, 
but that his visitor could have the first 
for £1,000. "I'll take it," said the 
prince of penmakers, "' and you must 
make me three or four more at your 
own price." If other artists did as well 
with Mr. Gillott they could have had 
but little cause of complaint. .Another 
hobby of Mr. Gillott's was collecting 
fiddles, his specimens, of which he once 
said he had a "boat load," realising 
£4,000 ; while his cabinet of precious 
stones was of immense value. The 
millionaire died Jan. 5, 1872, leaving 
£3,000 to local charities. 

Guest, James. — Originally a brass- 
founder, but imbued with the principles 
of Robert Owen, he became an active 
member of the Political Union and other 
"freedom-seeking "societies, and opened 
in Steelhouse Lane a shop for the sa'e 
of that kind of literature suited to 
ardent workers in the Radical cause, 
ilr. Guest believed that " all bad laws 
must be broken before they could be 
mended," and for years he follow ;d out 
that idea so far as the taxes on know- 
ledge were concerned. He was the 
first to sell unstamped papers here and 
in the Black Country, and, notwith- 
standing heavy fines, and even im- 
prisonment, he ke[)t to his principles 
as long as tlie law stood as it was. In 
1830 he published Hutton "History 
of Birmingham " in cheap numbers, 
unfortunately mixing with it many 
chapters about the Political Union, the 
right of a Free Press, &c.,in a confusing 
manner. The book, however, was very 
popular, and has been reprinted from 
the original stereoplates several times. 
Mr. Guest died Jan. 17, 1881, in his 
78th year. 

Hill, Rowland. — The oiiginator of 
the present postal system, born at Kid- 
derminster, December 3, 1795, coming 
to Birmingham with his parents when 
about seven years old. His father 
opened a school at the corner of Gough 
Street and Blucher Street, which was 
afterwards (in 1819) removed to the 
Hagley Road, where, as " Hazlewood 
School " it became more than locally 



182 



8H0WBLLS DIOTIONARt OF BIRMINGHAM. 



famous. In 1825 it was again re- 
moved, and further off, this time being 
taken to Bruce Castle, Tottenham, 
where the family yet resides. Rowland 
and his brother, Matthew Davenport 
Hill, afterwards Recorder of r>irming- 
hani, who took part in the manage- 
ment of the school, went with it, and 
personally Rowlami Hill's connection 
with our town may be said to have 
ceased. Early in 1837 Mr. Hill pub- 
lished his proposed plans of Post Office 
reform, but which for a long time met 
with no favour from either of the great 
political yiartirs, or in official quarters, 
where, it has been said, he was snubbed 
as a woald-be interloper, and cursed as 
" a fellow from Birmingham coming to 
teach people their business" — ■ 

"All office doors were closed against hira — 
Iiard 

All ofllce heads were closed against him 
too, 

'He had but worked, like others, for re- 
ward,' 

' The thing was all a dream.' ' It would not 
do." 

In 1839, more tli,>n ■2,0''0 petitions 
were presented to Parliament in favour 
of Mr. Hill's plans, and eventually 
they were adopted and became law by 
the 3rd and 4th Vict., cap. 96. The 
new postage law by which the uniform 
rate of fourpenee per letter was tried as 
an experiment, came into operation on 
the 5th of December, 1S39, and on the 
10th January, 1840, the reduced uni- 
form rate of Id. per letter of half-an- 
ounce weight was commenced. Under 
the new system the privilege of frank- 
ing letters enjoyed by members of 
Parliament was abolished, facilities of 
prepayment were afforded by tiie intro- 
liuction of postage stamps, double post- 
age was levied on letters not prepaid, 
and arrangements were made for the 
registration of letters. Mr. Hill re- 
ceived an appointment in the Treasury, 
but in 1841, he was told his services 
were no longer required This flagrant 
injustice caused great indignation, and 
a national testimonial of £15,000 was 
presented to him June 17, 1846. On 
a change of Government Mr. Hill was 



appointed Secretary to the Postmaster 
General, and, in 1854, Secretary to tlie 
Post Office, a position which he re- 
tained until failing health caused him 
to resign in March, 1864, the Treasury 
awardine him for life his salary of 
£2,000 per year. In the same year he 
received a Parliamentary grant of 
£20,000, and in 1860, ho was made a 
K. O.B., other honours from Oxford, 
&c., following. Sir Rowland was pre- 
sented with the freedom of the City by 
the London Court of Common Council, 
June 6, 1879, the document bcdtig con- 
tained in a suitable gold casket. It 
was incidentally mentioned in the 
course of the proceedings, that at tlie 
time Sir Rowland Hill's system was in- 
augurated the annual amount of cor- 
respondence was 79 millions, or three 
letters per head of the population ; 
while then it exceeded 1,000 millions 
of letters, 100 millions of postcards, 
and 320 millions of newspapers, and 
the gross receipt in respect of it was 
£6,000,000 sterling. Sir Rowland 
Hill died Aut;. 27, 1879, leaving but 
oue son, " Pearson Hill," late of the 
Post Office. 

Hollins, George — -The first appoin- 
ted organist of the Town Hall (in 
1834), liaving been previously organist 
at St. Paul's, in the graveyard of which 
church he was buried in 1841, the 
funeral being attended by hundreds of 
friends, musicians, and .--iagers of the 
town and neiglibourhoocl. 

Holt, Thomas Littleton. — A Press 
man, whose death (Sept. 14, 1879) at the 
age of 85, severed one of the very few re- 
maining links connecting the journal ism 
of the past with the present. It was to 
him that the late Mr. Dickens owed 
his introduction to Dr. Black, then 
the editor of the Morning Chronicle. 
Mr. Holt was proprietor of the Iron 
Times, wliich started during the rail- 
way mania. When his friend Leigh 
Hunt was imprisoned for libelling ihe 
Prince Regent, he was the fiist to visit 
liim. He took an active part in popu- 
larising chea[> literature, and it was 
greatly owing to him that the adver- 



SHOWELL'h dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



183 



tisementdutywasrepealed. He also took 
an active part in the abolition of the 
paper duty. Besides starting; many 
papers in London in the latter p;;vioi 
of his life, he returned to his n:\tive 
town, Birraing'iam, where he start"d 
Ri/Uiiid's Iron Trade Oircul'ir, to the 
success of which his writings largely 
contributed. 

Humphreys, Henry Noel. — This 
eminent naturalist and archaeologist's 
career closed in June, 1879. A son of 
the bite Mr. James Humphreys, lie 
was born in Uirmingham in 1809, and 
was educated at the Grammar School 
here. He was the author of many in- 
teresting works connected with his 
zoological and antiquarian researches. 
Among the most important of the latter 
class may be specified : — " Illustraiions 
of Froissart's C'nronicles," "The 
Parables of our Lord Illustrated," 
"The Coins of England." "Ancient 
Coins and Medals," •"Tiie Illuminated 
Books of the Medisevai Period," the 
"Coin Collector's Manual," the "Coin- 
age of the British Empir-^," " Stories 
by an Archseologist," and especially his 
magna opera, so to speak, "The Art 
of Illumination," and "Tne History of 
the Art of Writing from the Hierog'y- 
phic Period down to the introdnction 
of Alphabets." 

Jam/:s, William. — A Warwickshire 
engineer, born at Henley-in-Arden, 
June, 1.3, 1771. Mr James has been 
cilled the first projector of railways, as 
there was none started previous to his 
laying out a line from here to Wolver- 
hampton, which was given up in favour 
of the Canal Companies. The wharves 
in Newhall Street were constructed on 
the .site of his proposed railway station. 
He alterwards projected an<l surveyed 
raanj'other linosiuiluding Birniinghiia 
to Mancliester through Derbyshire. 
the Birmingham and London, etc. 
West Bromwich owes no little of its 
prosperity to this gentleman, who 
opened many collieries in its no'gh- 
bourhood. At one time Mr. Jamc-s 
was said to have been worth £150,000, 
besides £10,000 a year coming in from 



his profession, but he lost nearly all 
before his death. 

Je fery. —Gsor'^o Edward JefTtrv, 
who" died Dec. 29th, 1877, aged 33, 
was a local writgr who promised ti'* 
make a name had he lived longer. 

Johnstone, Dr. Jolm, a distin 
guished local physician, was born at 
Worcester in 1768. Though he 
acquired a high reputation for his 
treatment of diseases, it was noticeable 
that he made a very sparing use of 
medicines. Died in 1836. 

Johnston", John, whose death wa-< 
the result of being knocked down by 
a cab in Broad S::rcet in Oct. 1875, 
was one of those all-round iavenlive 
characters who have done so much for 
the trades of this town. He was born 
in Dumfriesshire in 1301, and was 
apprenticed to a builder, coming to 
this town in 1823. He was soon 
noticed as the first architectural 
draughtsman of his day, but his genius 
was not confined to any one line. He 
was the first to introduce photographic 
vignettes, he invented tlie peculiar 
lamp used in railway carriages, he im ■ 
proved several agricultural implements, 
he could lay out plans for public 
buiMings or a machine for raakin;^ 
hooks and eyes, anii many well-to-do 
ftmilies owe their rise in the world to 
acting on the ideas put before them by 
Mr. JoV.nstone. In the latter portion 
of his life he was engaged at the Cam- 
bridge Street Works as consulter in 
general. 

Kempsoii, James — In one of those 
gossiping accounts of the " Old 
Taverns" of Birmingham which 
"S. D. R. '■ has written, mntion is 
made of a little old man, dear to the 
musiciaus under the name of " Diddy 
Kempson," who appears to have been 
theoriginator of our Triennial Musical 
Festivals in 1768, aud who cjuducted 
a performance at St. Paul's as lato* as 
the year 1821, he being then 80 years 
of ag:-. 

Klichler, C. H. —A medalist, for 
many years in the employ of Boulton, 
for whom he sunk the dies f »r part o 



184 



SHOWBLL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



the copper coinage of 1797, &c. The 
2(3. piece is by liim. He was buried in 
Haudsworth Churchyard. 

Lightfoot. — Lieut. -General Thomas 
Lightfoot, C.B., Colonel of the 62nd 
Regiment, who died at his residence, 
Barbourne House, Worcester, Nov. 
15, 1858, in his 84th year, and who 
entered the British army very early in 
life, was the last surviving officer of 
the famous 45;h, the " Fire-eaters" as 
they were called, that went to the 
Peninsula with Moore and left it with 
Wellington. Lightfoot was in Holland 
in 1799. He was present in almost 
every engagement of the Peninsular 
War. He received seven wounds ; a 
ball which caused one of these re- 
mained in his body till his death. He 
obtained three gold and eleven silver 
medals, being one more than even 
those of his illustrious commander, 
the Duke of Wellington. One silver 
medal was given him by the Duke 
himself, who said on the cccasion he 
was glad to so decorate one of the brave 
45th. Lightfoot was made a C. B. in 
1815. Before he became Major-Gene- 
ral he was Aide-de-Camp to William 
IV. and Queen Victoria, and as such 
rode immediately before her Ma- 
jesty in her coronation procession. 
LieutenantGencral Lightfoot was a 
native of this town, and was buried in 
the family vault in St. Bartholomew's 
Church, his remains being escorted to 
the tomb by the 4th (Queen's Own) 
Light Dragoons, commanded by Colonel 
Low. 

Lloyd. — The founder of the well- 
known banking firm of Lloyds appears 
to have been Charles Lloyd, for some 
time a minister of tlie Society of 
Friends, who died in 1698, 

Machin, William. — Born here in 
1798, began his musical career (while 
apjirenticed to papier-mache making), 
as a member at the choir at Cannon 
Street Chapel. As a favourite bass 
singer he was engaged at maiij' of the 
festivals from 1834 to that of 1849. 
His death occurred in September, 
1870. 



Malins, David. — Brassfounder, who 
in course of his life filled several of the 
chief offices of our local governing 
bodies. Born June 5, 1803 ; died 
December, 1881. Antiquarian and 
persevering collector of all works 
threwing light upon or having con- 
nection with Birmingham or Warwick- 
shire history. Mr. Malins, after the 
burning of the Free Library, generously 
gave the whole of his collection to the 
formation of the New Reference 
Library, many of the books being 
most rare and valuable, and of some of 
which no other copies are known to 
exist. 

Mellon, Alfred. — Tliongh actually 
born in London, Mr. Mellon's parents 
(his father was a Frenchman) were 
residents in Birmingham, and we must 
claim this popular conductor as a local 
musician ot note. He was only twelve 
whenhejoinedthe Theatre Royal band, 
but at sixteen he was the leader and 
remained so Tor eight vears, removing 
to London in 1844. " In 1856 Mr. 
Mellon conducted the opening per- 
formances at the Music Hall in Broad 
Street (now Prince of Wales's Theatre) : 
and will be long remembered for the 
"Promenade Concerts" he gave at 
Covent Garden and in the provinces. 
He died from tlie breaking of a blood- 
vessel, March 27, 1867. 

Mogridge, George, born at Ashted 
Feb. 17th, 1787, and brought up as a 
japanner, was the original "Old 
Humphrey" of our childhood's days, 
the author of "Grandfather Grey," 
"Old Humphrey's Walks in London," 
"Old Humphrey's Country Strolls," 
and other juvenile woiks, of Avhich 
many millions of copies have been 
sold in England, America, and the 
Colonies. "Peter Parley '.s Tales" 
have been also ascribed to our towns- 
man, who died Nov. 2, 1854. 

Muvdeji, T.— In the year 1818, Mr. 
ilunden (born in London in 1798) 
came to this town as organist of Christ 
Church, and was also chosen as teacher 
of the Oratorio Choral Society, and to 
this day it may be said that the repu- 



SHOWELL'S dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



185 



tatiou of cur Festival Choir is mostly 
based on the instruction given by him 
during liis long residence among us. 
From 1823 till 1849 Jlr. Munden acted 
as Assistant-conductor at the Festivals, 
retiring from publiclife in 1853. 

Micntz. — The Revolution in 1792 
drove the Muntz family to emigrate 
from their aristocratic abode in France, 
and a younger son came to this town, 
where he married a Miss Purden, and 
established himself in business. From 
this alliance sprung our race of the 
Muntaes. George Frederic, the eldest, 
was born in November, 1794, an<i 
losing his father in early life, was head 
of the family in his 18th year. He 
devoted liimself for many years, and 
with great success, to mercantile 
affairs, but his most fortunate under- 
taking, and which has made his name 
kuown all over the world, was the 
manufacture of sheathing metal for 
ships bottoms. It has been doulited 
whether he did any more than revive 
another man's lapsed patent, but it has 
never been questioned that he made a 
vast sum of money out of the "yellow- 
metal." In politics, G. F. M. took a 
very active part, even before the forn a- 
tiou of the Political Union in 1830, 
and for many years he was the idol of 
his fellow-townsmen. He was elected 
M.P. for Birmingham, in January, 
1840, and held the seat till the day of 
his death, which took place July 30, 
1857. His name will be found on 
many a page of our local history, even 
though a statue of him is not yet posed 
on a pedestal. 

Murdoch, William. — Born at Bellow 
Mill, near Old Cumnock, Ayrshire, in 
1750, and brought up as a millwright, 
came here in search of work in 1777. 
He was employed by Boultou at 15s. 
per week for the first two 3'ears, but he 
soon became the most trusted of all the 
many engaged at Soho, and never left 
there though offered £1,000 a year to 
do so. The first steam engine applied 
to drawing carriages was constructed 
by him in the shape of a model which 
ran round a room in his house at Red- 



ruth in 1784, and which is still in 
existence. As an inventor, he was 
second only to Watt, his introduction 
of gas lighting being almost equal to 
that of the steam engine. He livedtJ 
be 85, dying November 15, 1839, at 
his residence, Sycamore Hill, Hands- 
worth. His remains lie near those of 
his loved employers, Boulton and Watt, 
in the parish church. 

PcliiiL—llv. Joseph Pottitt, who 
died Sept. 9, 1882, in his 70th year, 
was a local artist of note, a member of 
the Society of Artists, and for many 
years a regular exhibitor at the Royal 
Academy, our local, and other exhibi- 
tions. In his younger years Mr. 
Pettitt was employed in the papier- 
mache trade, a business peculiarly 
suited to persons gifted with artisti* 
faculties. His earliest specimens ol 
landscape attracted attention, and Mr. 
Joseph Gillott commissioned the 
painter to furnish a number of Swiss 
views for the collection of pictures he 
had began to gather, ilr. Pettitt 
pleased the penmaker, and .'^oon made 
a name for himself, his works being 
characterised by fine colour and broad 
vigorous handling. 

Phillips, Aldermau, died Feb. 25, 
1876. A member of the first Town 
Council, and Mayor in 1844. Mr. 
Phillips long took active })art in muni- 
cipal matters, and was the founder of 
the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum. 

Pickard, James. — A Biimingham 
button maker, who patented, Aug. 23, 
1780, the use of the crank in the steam 
engine to procure rotary motion. He 
is supposed to have got the idea from 
overhearing the conversation 01 some 
Soho workmen while at their cups. 
The first engine in which it was used 
(and the fly-wheel) was for a manu- 
facturer in Snow Hill, and wis put up 
by Matthew Washborough, of Bristol. 

Plant— llr. T. L. Plant, who died 
very suddenly in a railway carriage in 
which he was coming into town on the 
morning of August 31, 1SS3, came to 
Birmingham in 1840. As a meteorolo- 
gist, who for more than forty years had 



186 



SHOWELI. S DICTIONARY OF BIKMINGHAM. 



kept ulosu reoori uf wind aiiJ weather, 
he Wis well known ; liis letters to the 
newspapers on tliis ami kindred sub- 
jects were always interestiiig, and the 
part htt took in advanced sanitary 
questions gained him the friendship of 
all. Mr. Plant was a native of York- 
shire, and was in his 61th year ac the 
time of his death. 

Playfcur, William (brother of the 
eminent Scotch mathematician) was 
engaged as a draughtsman at the Solio 
Works, alter serving apj>renticeship as 
a millwriglit. He patented various in- 
ventions, and was well known as a 
political writer, &c. Born, 1759 ; died, 
1823. 

Pofitgate, John. — This name should 
be honoured in every houseiudil for a 
life's exertion in the obtainmerit of 
purity in what we eat and drink. B.'- 
ginuing life as a grocer's boy, lie saw 
the most gross auultcntion carried on 
in all the varie ies of articles sold by 
his employers, and afterwards being 
with a medic,il firm, he studied 
chemistry, and devoted his life to 
analysing foo I and drugs. Coming to 
this town in 1854. he obtained tlie 
assistance of ilr. Win. Schok-ficld, by 
whose means the first Parlianientar}' 
Committee of Enquiry was appointed ; 
the revelations were astounding, 
but it was not till 1875 that anything 
like a stringent Act was passed 
whereby the adulterators could be 
prop?rly punished. The author of 
this great national benefit was alloweii 
to die almost in poverty, uucared for 
by his countiymen at large, or bj"- his 
adopted townsmen of Birmingham. 
Born October 21, 1820, Mr. Postgate 
died in July, 1881. 

Ragj, Rev. Thomas. — Once a book- 
seller and printer, editor and publisher 
of the Birmingham Advertiser, .ind 
author of several work-, one of which 
secured for him tlio goodwill of the 
Bishop of Roche.ster, who ordained 
him a minister of the Estahlislied 
Church in 1858. He died December 
3rd, 1881, in his 74th year, at Lawley, 
Salop, having been perpetual curate 



thereof from 1865. His nirishioners 
and friends subscribed for a memorial 
window, aud a fund of a little over 
£200 was raised for the benefit of the 
widow, but a very small p^tit thereof 
wenL fiom Birmingliam. 

Ratcliffe. —^Ir. John Ritcliffe, who 
had in past years been a Town Com- 
missioner, a Low Bailiff, a Town Coun- 
cillor, and Alderman, was chosen as 
Mayor in 1856, aud, being jiopular as 
well as wealthy, got reappointed yearly 
until 1859. In the first-named year, 
H.R. H. the Duke of Cambridge was 
the Mayor's guest when lie came to 
open Galthorpe Park. When rhe Prin- 
cess Royal was married, in 1858, the 
Mayor celebrated the auspicious event 
by giving a dinner to more than a thou- 
sand poor people, and h'- headed the 
deputation which was sent from here 
to present England's royal da\ighter 
with some articles of Birmingham 
manufacture. On the occasion of the 
Queen's visit to open Aston Park, Mr. 
Mayor received the iionour of Knight- 
hood, and became Sir .John, dying in 
1864, in his 67th year. 

Re.Hiiic, John. — Tii3 celebrateii en- 
gineer and architect, who built Water- 
loo and Soutliwark Bridg.-s, Plymouth 
Breakwater, &c., was for a short time 
in the eniplov of Boulton and Watt. 

Roebuck, Dr. John, grandfather of 
the late John Arthur Roebuck, M. P. 
was born at Sheffield in 1718 ; came to 
Birmingham in 1745. He introduced 
bjtte.r methods of refining gold 
and silver, originated more econ- 
omical styles of manufacturing the 
chemicals tised in trade (especially 
oil of vitriol), and revived the use of pit 
coal in smelting iron. .After leaving 
this town ho started t'.ie Cirron Iron- 
woiks on the Clyde, and in 1768 joined 
James Watt in bringing out tlie latter's 
steam engine. Some mining invest- 
ments tailed before the engine was per- 
fected, and his interest tliereon was 
transferred to Mr. Boulton, the doctor 
dying in 1794 a poor man. 

Rogers. — John Rogers, one of " the 
glorious army of martyrs," was burnt 



8H0WKLL3 DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



187 



at Sinitblield (London) on February 4. 
1555. He was born in Deritend about 
the year 1500, and assistetl in i he trans- 
lation and printing of the Bible into 
English. He was one of the Preben- 
daries of St. Paul's, Loudon, but afcer 
Queen Mary came to the tlirone he give 
offence by preacliing against idolatry 
and superstition, and was kspt im- 
lirisoned for eighteen months prior to 
comlemnation and ex3cutioii, being the 
first martyr of the Reformation. He 
left a wife and eleven children. See 
" Statues and Mcynorials." 

Russell. — -Wiiliani Congrevo Rus.seII, 
Esq., J. P., and in 1832 Ldected M.P. 
for Eist Worcestershire, who died Nov. 
30, 1850, aged 72, was the last of a 
family whose seat was at Moor Green 
for many generations. 

Rym, Dr. Johii.— The first head- 
master of the EJgbaston Proprietary 
School, which openeii under his super 
intendeiice in January, 1838, his con- 
nection therewith conuauiiig till 
Christmas, 1816. Ho \f\H a man of 
great learning, with a remarkable com- 
mand of lang. age, and a singularly 
accurate writer. Born March 11, 1806, 
his intellectual ac(iuireinents expanded 
.so rapidly that at sixteen he was able to 
support iiimself, and, passing with the 
highest honours, he had taken liis 
degree and accepted the head master- 
ship of Truro Grammar School before 
his 21st birthday. For the last 30 
years of his life lie filled the i)csc of 
VicePie.sident of Queen's College, 
Cork, departing to a better sphere 
June 21, 1875.' 

Ryla.id, Arthur. — Descendant of a 
locally long-honoured I'amily this 
gentleman, a lawyer, added consider- 
ably to the prestige of the name b}- the 
prominent position lie took ia every 
work leading to the advancement of 
his townsmen, social, moral, and poli- 
tical. Connected with almost every 
institution in tlie borough, many of 
which he aided to establish or develop, 
lilr. Ryland's name is placed foremost 
among the fouuderi of the Birmingham 
and Midland Institute, the Art Gallery, 
the public Libraries, the Hospitals for 



Women and Children, the Sanatorium, 
&c. , while he was oue of the greatest 
friends to the Volunteer movement 
and the adoption of the School Board's 
system of education. During life he 
was appointed to all the loading offices 
of citizenship, in addition to being 
chosen President of the Law Society 
and other bodies. He died at Cannes, 
March 23, 1877, in his 70th year. 

Scliolejield, William. —Son of Joshua 
Scholefield, was chosen as the first 
Mayor after the incorporation, having 
previously been the High Biilitfof the 
Court Leet. In 1847 he was elected 
M. P., holding that office through five 
Parliaments and until his (Liatli July 
9, 1867 (in his 5Sth year;. In the 
House, as well as in :1s private life and 
business ciri.des, he was much esteemed 
for the honest fixity of jiurpose which 
characterised all his life. 

Sluiio, Cliarios, commonly known as 
"Charley" Shaw, was a large manu- 
facturing merchant, and held high 
position as a moneyed man for many 
years down to Lis death. He was a.s 
hard as a nail, rough as a bear, and 
many funny tales have been told about 
him, but he i- worth a place in local 
history, if only for the fact that it was 
principally through his exertions that 
the great monetary panic of 1837 was 
prevented from becoming almost a 
national collapse. 

Sherlock. — "Though not to be counted 
exactly as one of our Birmingham men, 
Thomas Sherlock, Bishop of Lou'.'on, 
who purchased the manor estates in or 
about 1730, must have a place among 
the "noteworthies." Hutton states 
that when the Bi.shopmade his bargain 
the estate brought in about £400 per 
annum, but that in another tliiriy years 
or so it had increased to twice the 
value. The historian goes on t>) say 
that " thu pious old Bishop was fre- 
quenth' solicited t ) grant building 
leases, but answered, ' his lauii was 
valuable, and if built upon, his suc- 
cessor, at the expiration of the term, 
would have t'ue rubbish to carry off: ' 
he therefore not only refused, but pro- 
hibited hLs successor from granting 



188 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



such leases. But Sir Thomas Gooch, 
who succeeded him, seeing the great 
improvement of the neighbouring 
estates, and wiselyjadging fiity pounds 
per acre [terlerable to live, procured an 
Act in about 1766, to set aside the pro- 
hibiting clause in the Bisliop's will. 
Since which, a considerable town may 
be said to liave been erected upon his 
property, now (1787) about £2,400 per 
annum." Bishop and historian alike, 
would be a little astonished at the pre- 
sent value of the property, could they 
see it. 

Sinall, Dr. William. — A friend of 
Boulton, Watt, and Priestley, and one 
of the famous Lunar Society, born in 
county Angus, Scotland, in 1734, 
dying here in 1778. A physician of 
most extensive knowledge, during a 
residence in America he filled the chair 
of Professor of Natural Philosophy at 
the University of Williamsburg, Vir- 
ginia. In the beautiful pleasure grounds 
of Soho House, when Matthew Boul- 
ton lived, there was an urn inscribed to 
the memory of Dr. Small, on which ap- 
peared some impressive lines written 
by Dr. Darwin, of Derby : — 

"Here, wliile no titled dust, no sainted 
bone, 
No lover weeping over beauty's bier. 
No warrior fi'owniiig in historic stone, 
Extorts your praises, or requests your 
tear ; 
Cold Contemplation leans her aching head, 
On huiuaii woe her steady eye she 
turns. 
Waves her meek hand, and sighs for Science 
dead. 
For Science, Virtue, and for Small she 
mourns." 

Smith. — Mr. Brooke Smith (of the 
well-known firm of Martineau and 
Smith), a valuea supporter of Peuu 
Street and Dale Street Industrial 
Schools, the Graham Street Charity, 
and other institutions connected with 
the welfare of the young, die(i in April, 
1876, in his 78th year. A Liberal in 
every way, the sound common sense of 
Mr. Brooke Smith, who wis noted for 
an unvarying courtesy to all parties 
and creeds, kept him from taking any 
active share in local politics where 



urbanity and kindliness is heavily dis- 
couuted. 

Sturge, Joseph. — Born August 2, 
1793, at Alberton, a village on the 
.Severn, was intended for a farmer, but 
commenced trading as a cornfactor at 
Bewdley, in 1814, his brother Charles 
joining him in 1822, in which year 
they also came to Birmingham. Mr. 
Sturge was chosen a Town Commis 
sioner, but resigned in 1830, being op- 
posed to the use of the Town Hall being 
granted for oratorios. He was one of 
the directors of the London and Bir- 
mingliam Railway when it was opened 
in 1836, but objecting to the running 
of Sunday trains, witlidrew from ths 
board. In 1838 he wis elected Alder- 
man for St. Thomas's Ward, but would 
not subscribe to the required declara- 
tion respecting the Established religion. 
At a very early date he took an active 
part in the Anti-slavery movement, 
and his visit to the West Indies and 
subsequent reports thereon had much 
to do with hastening the abolition of 
slavery. When the working-classes 
were struggling for electoral freedom 
and " the Charter," Mr. Sturge was 
one of the few found willing to help 
them, though his peace-loving disposi- 
tion failed to induce them lo give up 
the idea of "forcing" their rights. 
Having a wish to take part in the 
making of the laws, he issued an ad- 
dress to the electors of Birmingham in 
1840, but was induced to retire ; in 
August, 1842, he contested Notting- 
ham, receiving 1,801 votes against his 
opponent's 1885 ; in 1844 he put up 
for Birmingham, l)ut only 364 votes 
were given him ; and he again failed at 
Leeds in 1847, though he polled 1,976 
voters. In 1850 he visited Schleswig- 
Holsteiu and Denmark, and in Febru- 
ary, 1854, St. Petersburgh, each time 
in hopes of doing something to prevent 
the wars then commencing, but failure 
did not keep him from Finland in 1856 
with relief for the sufferers. In 1851 
he took a house in Ryland Road and 
fitted it up as a reformatory, which 
afterwards led to the establishment at 



SHOWEIil/tJ DICTIONARY OK BIRMINGHAM. 



189 



Stoke Prior. Mr. Sturge died on May 
14, 1859, and wat buried on the 20tli 
in Bull Street. Hi.s character needs 
no comment, for hi^ was a Christian in 
iiis walk as well as in his talk. 

Taylor, Jolm.— Died in 1775, aijed 
til, leaving a fortune of over £200,000, 
acquired in the manufacture of metal 
buttons, japanned ware, snuff bnxei^, 
&c. It is stated that he sent out £800 
worth of buttons weekly, and that one 
of his workmen earueil 70s. per week 
by paintinji; snuff boxes at ^d. each. 
Mr. Taylor must have had a niouopoly 
in the latter, for this one hand at the 
rate named must have decorated some 
170,000 boxes per aTinuni. 

Tomluis. —Samuel Boulton Tomlins, 
the sou of a local iron merchant (who 
was one of the founders of the Birming- 
ham Excb.ange) and Mary Harvey 
Boulton (a near relative to Matthew) 
was born September 28, 1797, at Park 
House, in Park Street, then a vine- 
covered residenre surrounded by 
gardens. His mother was so great a 
favourite with Baskerville that the 
celebrated printer gave her one of two 
specially-printed Bibles, retaining the 
other for himself. After serving an 
apprenticeship to a bookseller, Mr. 
Tomlins was taken into Lloyd's Bank 
as a clerk, but was soon promoted 
to be manager of the branch tiien at 
Stockport, but wliiidi was taken over 
afterwards by a Manchester Bulking 
Company, with whom Mr. Tomlins 
stayed until 1873, dying September 8, 
1879. 

Ulwin. — Though nearly last in our 
list, Uhvin, or Alwyne, the son of 
AVigOil, and thegrandson of Woolgeat, 
the Danish Earl of Warwick, must 
rank first among our noteworthy men, 
if only from the fact that his name is 
absolutely the first found in historical 
records as having anything to do with 
Birmingham. This was in King 
Edward the Confessor's time, when 
Alwyno was Sheriff (vice-comes) and 
through his son Turchill, who came 
to be Earl of Warwick, the Ardens and 



the Bracobridgcs trace their descent 
from the old Saxon kings, Alwyne's 
mother being sister to Lcofric, III., 
Eirl of Mercia. Whether Alwyne 
thrived on his unearned ineronent or 
not, the politicians of the time have 
not told us, but the possessions that 
cinie to him by the Dano-Saxon 
marriage of his parents seems to have 
been rather extensive, as it is written 
that he owned not only the manor of 
Birmingham, but also Halesowen, 
Escelie, Hagley, and Swinford in 
Wirecescire (Worcestershire), Great 
Barr, Handsworth, Penn, Kushall and 
Walsall, in Staffordshire, as well as 
Aston, Witton, Erdington, and Edg- 
baston. The modern name of Allen is 
deducible from Alwyne, and the bearers 
thereof, if so inclined, may thus be 
enabled to also claim a kingly descent, 
and much good may it do them. 

Underwood, Thoma.s, — Tlie first 
printer to introduce the art of litho- 
graphy into Birminghani, and he is also 
creiiited with being the discoverer of 
chromo-litho, and the first to publish 
coloured almanacks ani calendars. 
He did much to foster the taste for 
art, but will probably be most generally 
recollected by the number of views of 
old Birmingham and reproductions of 
pictures and maps of local interest 
that he published. Mr. Underwood 
died March 14, 1882, in his 73rd year. 

Van JVart. — Henry Van Wart, was 
born iieir New York, Sei)t. 25, 1783, 
and took up his abode with us in 1808. 
By birth an American, by descent a 
Diitchinaii, he became a Brum 
through being naturalised by ."-pecial 
Act of Parliament, and for nearly 
seventy years was one of our principal 
merchants. He was also one of the 
fn-'-t Aldermen chosen for the borough. 
Died Feb. 15, 1873, in his 90th year, 

IFard. — Humble Wan!, son of 
Cliarles I.'s jeweller, who mirried 
the daughter of the Earl of Dudley, 
Avas created Baron Ward of Birming- 
ham. Their son Edward thus came to 
the title of Lord Dudley and Ward in 
1697. 



190 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Warren.- — Thomas Warren was a 
well-known local bookseller of the last 
century. He joined Wyatt and Paul 
in their endeavonrs to establish the 
■Cotton Spinning Mill, putting £1,000 
into the speculation, which unfortu- 
nately landed him iti bankruptcy. 
He afterwards became an auctioneer, 
and ill 1788 had the pleasure of selling 
the TTiachinery of the mill in which 
forty years ]irev!Ous his money had 
been lost. 

Wait, James, was born at Greenock, 
Jan. 19, 1736, and (if we are to credit 
the somewhat apocrypiial anecdote of 
his testing the power of steam as it 
issued from his aunt's teakettle when a 
little lad barely breeched) at an early 
age he gave evidence of what sort of a 
man he would be. In such a con- 
densed work as the present book, it is 
impossible to give much of the life of 
this celebrated genius ; but fortunately 
there are many biographies ot him to 
which the student can refer, as well as 
scientific and other tomes, in which his 
manifold inventions have been re- 
corded, and in no corner of the earth 
where the steam-engine has been intro- 
duced can his name be unknown. 
After many years' labour to bring the 
new motive power into practical use, 
Watt, helped by hisfricnd Dr. Roebuck, 
took out his first patent in 1769. 
Roebuck's share was transferred to 
Matthew Boulton in 1773, and in the 
following year James Watt came to 
Birmingham. An Act of Parliament 
prolonging the patent for a ti-rm of 
twenty-four years was obtained in May. 
1775, and on the hrst of June was com- 
menced the world-famous partnership 
of Boulton au'i Watt. Up to this date 
the only engine made to work was the 
one brought by Watr from Scotland, 
though more than nine years had been 
spent on it, and thousands of pounds 
expended in experiments, improve- 
ments, and alterations. Watt's first 
residence here was in Regent's Place, 
Harper's Hill, to which (Aug. 17,1775) 
he brought his second wife. He 
afterwards removed to Heathfield, 



whei'fi the workshop in which he 
occupied his latest years still re- 
mains, as on the day of his death. 
In 1785, he was elected a Fellow of the 
Royal Society; in 1806, the University 
of Glasgow conferred the degree of 
LL. D. upon him, and in 1808 he was 
elected a member of the National In- 
stitute of France. One of the latest 
inventions of James Watt was a ma- 
chine for the mechanical copying of 
sculpture and statuary, its production 
being the amusemen: of his octocrena- 
rian years, for, like his partner Boul- 
ton, Watt was permitted to stay on the 
earth for longer than the so-called 
allotteil term, his death taking place 
on the 19th of August, 1819, when he 
was in his 83rd year. He was buried 
in Handsworth Chuich, where th-re is 
a monument, the features of which are 
said to be very like him. A sta- 
tue was erected to his memory in 
Westminster Abbey • in 1824, and 
others have been set up in Bir- 
mingham, .Manchester, Greenock, 
and Glasgow. The following is the in- 
scription (written by Lord Brougham) 
on the tomb of Watt in Westminster 
Abbey, towards the cost of which 
George IV. contributed £500 : — 

" Not to perpetuate a name which must 
endnre wliiletlie peacfnl arts flourish, but to 
show tliat mankind liave learned to honour 
those who best deserve their gratituiie, the 
King, his ministers, and many of the nobles 
and commoners of the realm, raised this 
monument to James Watt, wiio, directinj; 
the force of an original genius, early exer- 
cised in iihilosophical research, to the im- 
provement of X\\A steam-engine, enlarged the 
resources of his country, increased the power 
of man, and rose to an eminent place among 
tlie most illnstriims followers of science and 
the real benefnctors of the world. Born at 
Greenock, 1736; died at Heathfield, in 
StatTordshire, 1819." 

One of James Watt's sons, Gregory, 
who devoted himself to science and 
literature, died in 1804, at the early 
age of 27. Jame.s, born Feb. 5, 1769, 
resided for a number of years at Aston 
Hall, where he died in 1848. In 
1817 he voyaged to Holland in 
the firdt steam vessel that left an 
English port, the engines having been 



BI1C)WEI.LS DICTIONARY OF I3IUM1NGHAM. 



191 



maiiufai'tured at Solio. He. was of a 
very rytiiini^ iJispositiou, and not par- 
licularly pojuilar with the public, 
thouL'li valued iiud appreciated by tliose 
admitted to cloyer intimacy. 

Jl'est. — Though he did not come to 
Birniiiighaiu until clos;e upon sixty 
years of age, being born in 1770, 
Williaiu West, in his "History of 
Warwickshire," publislieil one of the 
best descriptions of tliis town ever yet 
prepared. He had establishnients in 
London and Cork, and was tlia autlior 
of several amusing and inteiesting 
works, sach as "Tavern Anecdotes," 
" Fifty Years' Recollections of an Old 
Bookseller," &c., now scarce, though 
" West's Warwickshire " may often be 
met witli at tlie " Chaucer's Head," 
and other old borkshojis. 

Williams, Fleetwood, who died in 
1836, at the esirly age of 29, was the 
author of sundry locally interesting 
prose wojks and poetical "skits." He 
was connected with several debating 
clubs, and showed talent that promised 
future distinction. 

Willmore. — James Tibbets Will- 
more, a native of Handsworth, was an 
eminent lamlscape engraver, famed for 
his reproductions of Turner's works. 
His death occurred in March, 1863, in 
his 63rd year. 

Winfidd.—MT. Robert Walter Win- 
field, though he took comparatively 
little part iu the public life of our 
town, deserves a prominent place 
among our men of note as a manufac- 
turer who did much towards securing 
Birmingham a somewhat better name 
than has occasionally been given it, in 
respect to the quality of the work sent 
out. Starting early in life, in the 
nnlitarj' ornament line, Jlr. Winfield 
began in a somewhat small way 
on the site of the present exten- 
sive block of buildings known as 
Cambridge Street Works, wdiicli has 
now dftveloped into an establishment 
covering several acres of land. Here 
have been manufactured some of the 
choicest specimens of brass foundry 
work that could he desired, no expense 



being spared at any time in tlie pro- 
curing of the best patterns, and which 
is of almost equal importance) the 
emidoyment of the best workmen. Tiie 
goods sent from Cambridge Street to 
tiie first (Jreat Exhibition, 18.5], ob- 
tained the highest award, the Council's 
Gold Medal, for excellence <d' work- 
manship, beauty of design and general 
treatment, and the house retains its 
position. Mr. AVinfield was a true 
man, Conservative in politics, but 
most truly libsral in all matters con- 
nected with his work-people ami their 
faruilies. In the education and ad- 
vancement of the younger hands he 
took the deepest interest, spending 
thousands in the erection of schools 
and the anpointment of teachers tor 
them, and not a few of our present 
leading men have to thank him for 
their first step in hfe. The death of 
his only son, Mr. J. F. Winfield, in 
1861, was a great blow to the father, 
and caused him tr> retire from active 
business through failing health. His 
death (Dec. 16, 1869), was generally 
felt as a loss to the town. 

1 1' i/atL— J ohu Wyatt, one of Bir- 
mingham's most ingenious sons, in- 
vented (in 1738) the spinning of cotton 
by means of rollers, hut unlike Richard 
Arkwright, who afterwards introduced 
a more perfect machine and made a 
fortune, the process was never other 
than a source of loss to the original in- 
ventor and his partners, who vainly 
tried to make it a staple manufacture 
of the town. The weighing m.a^hine 
was also the work of Wyatt's brain, 
though he did not live" to see the 
machina in use, dying Nov. 29, 1766, 
l)roken down by misfortune, but 
honoured by such men as Biskerville 
and Boulton wdio, then rising them- 
selves, knew the worth of the man 
whose loss they deplored. Wvatt's 
grave is on the Blue Coat School side 
of St. Fhilij)'s churchyard. 

Wyon.—K celebrated local family of 
die-sinkers and medalists. William 
Wyon (born in 1795) receiving the 
gold medal of the Society of Arts, for 



192 



SHOWELL's BICTIONARY of BIRMINGHA.M. 



his medal of Ceres, obtained in 1816 
the post of second engraver at the Mint, 
his cousin, Thomas Wyon, being then 
the cliief. One of the finest medals 
engraved by him was that of Boulton, 
struck by Thomasoii, in high relief, 
and 4in. in diameter. He died in 1851, 
having produced all the coins and 
medals for Queen Victoria and William 
IV., part of George IV.'s, and prize 
medals for many societies. His son, 
Leonard Wyon, produced the Exhi- 
bition medals in 1851. 

The preceding are really but a few or 
the men of note whose connection with 
Birmingham has been of historical in- 
terest, and the catalogue might be ex- 
tended to great length with the names 
of the Da Birminghams, the Smal- 
brokes, Middlemorea, Colmores, and 
others of the old families alone. Scores 
of pages would not suffice to give even 
the shortest biographies of the many 
who, by their inventive genius and 
persistent labour, placed our town at 
the head of the world's workshops, the 
assistants and followers of the great 
men of Soho, the Thomasons, Taylnrs, 
and others living in tlie early part of 
the century,orthe Elkingtons, Chances, 
&c., of later days. A volume might 
easily be filled with lives of scientific 
and literary men of the past, Hutton 
the historian, Morfitt, poet and bar- 
rister ; Beiiby, Hodgetts, Hudson, and 
other bookmen, to say naught of the 
many Fre.«s writers (who in their day 
added not a little to the advancement 
of their fellow-townsmen), or the vener- 
able doctors, the school teachers and 
scholars, the pastors and masters of 
the old School and the old Hospital. 
Mention is made of a few here and 
there in this book ; of others tliere have 
been special histories published, and, 
perchance some day " Birmingliam 
men " will form the title of a more 
comprehensive work. 

Novel Sight. — The appearance in 
the streets of Birmingham of a real 
war vessel would be a wonderful thing 
even in these days of railwi3's and 
iteam. Sir Rowland Hill, speaking of 



his childhood's days, said he could 
recollect once during the war with 
Jfapoleou tliat a French gunboat wa.s 
dragf(ed across the country, and shown 
in Birmingham at a small charge. He 
had never then seen any vessel bigger 
than a coal barge, but this was a real 
ship, with real anchor and real ship 
gun,. 

Numbering- of Houses.— We 

are rapidly improving in many ways, 
and the gradual introduction of the 
system of alternate numbering, the odd 
numbers on one side of the street, and 
the evens on the other, is an advance 
in the right direction. Still, the fixing 
of the diminutive figure plate on the 
sideposts of a door, or, as is frequently 
found to be the case, in the shadow of 
a porch, is very tantalising, especially 
to the stranger. Householders should 
see that the No. is placed in a con- 
spicuous spot, and have the figures 
painted so that they can be well seen 
even on a dusky evening. 

NunnePies. — See "Religious 

Associations." 

NuPSerieS.— The outskirts, and 
indeed many parts of the town, leas 
than a century back were studded 
with gardens, but the flower.s have had 
to give place to the more prosaic bricks 
and mortar, and householders desirous 
of floral ornaments have now in a great 
measure to resort to the nursery 
grounds of the professed horticulturists. 
Foremost among the nurseries of the 
neighbourhood are those o Mr. R. H. 
Vertegans, Chad Valley, Edgbastoh 
which were laid out some thirty-five 
yeais ago. The same gentleman has 
another establishment of even older 
d.ite at Malvern, and a third at 
Metchley. The grounds of Messrs. 
Pope and Sons, at King's Norton, are 
also extensive and worthy of a visit. 
There are other nurseries at Solihull 
(Mr. Hewitt's), at Spark hill (Mr. 
Tomki'is'), at Handsworth (Mr. South- 
hall's), and in several other parts of the 
suburbs. The Qardencrs' Chronicle, 
the editor of which is supposed to be 



8H0WELLS DICTIONARY OF BIKMINQHAM. 



193 



a good judge, saul that the floral 
arrangements at the opening of the 
ilason Science College surpassed any- 
thing of the kind ever seen in Birniing- 
liani, Mr. Vertegans having su])plied 
not less than thirty van loads, com- 
prising over 5,000 of the choicest 
exotic flowers and evergreens. 

Oak Leaf Day.— in the adjoining 
counties, and to a certain extent in 
B:rmingliam itself, it has been the 
custom for carters and coaciimen to 
decorate their horses' heads and their 
own hats with sprays of oak leaves on 
the 29th of May, anil 99 out of the 100 
would tell you tliey did so to com- 
memorate Charles II. hiiiing in the 
oak tree near to Boscobel House. It 
is curious to note how long an erro- 
neous idea will last. The hunted King 
would not have found much shelter in 
his historical oak in the month of May, 
as tiie trees would hardly have been 
sufficiently in leaf to have screened 
him, and, as it happened, it was the 4th 
of September and not the 29th of .'day 
when the event occurred. The popu- 
lar mistake is supposed to have arisen 
from the fact that Ciiarles made his 
public entry into London on May 29, 
which was also his birthday, when the 
Royalists decked themselves with oak 
in remembrance of that tree having 
been instrunuiutal in the King's res- 
toration. 

Obsolete Street Names.— Town 

improvements of one sort and another 
have necessitated the entire clearance 
of many streets whose names may be 
found inscribed on the old maps, anti 
their very sites will in time be for- 
gotten. Changes in name have also 
occurred more Irec^uently perhaps than 
may be imagined, and it will be well to 
note a few. As will be seen, several 
streets have been christened and re- 
christened more than once. 
Baskerville-street is now Easy-row. 
Bath-road is Bristol-street. 
Beast Market was that part of High- 
street contiguous to New-street ; also 
called English Market, 



Bewdley-street, afterwards Ann-street, 

now Colmore-row. 
Birch Hole-street has been improved 

to Birchall street. 
]>lack Boy Yard is now Jamaica-row. 
Brick Kiln lane is the Horse Fair. 
Broad-street — -Dale End was so called 

in the 15th century. 
Buckle-row. Between Silver-steeet and 

Thomas-street. 
Button Alley — Bishop-street, Mass- 
house-lane. 
l>utts lane — Tanter-street ; The Butts 

being Stafford-street. 
Catherine-street — -Whittal-street. 
Cawsey (The Canseway) — Lower part 

of Digbeth. 
Ciiapel-street — Bull-street was so called 

in the 14th century. 
Chappel-row — Jennens'-row and Back- 
street. 
Charles or Little Cliarles-street — Now 

part of New Edmund-street. 
Coci<-street--Upper part of Digbeth ; 

also called Well-street. 
Col more-street — From Worcester-street 

to Peck-lane. 
Cony Greve street is now Congreve- 

street. 
Cooper's Mill-lane is Heathmill-lane. 
Corbett's Alley — Union-street. 
Corn Gheaping or Corn Market was 

part of the Bull Ring. 
Court-lane — Moat-lane. 
Cottage- lane — Slieepcote-laue. 
Crescent-street — Part of King Edward's 

Road. 
Cross-street — Vanxhall-street. 
Crown-street, afterwards Nelson-street 

is now Sheepcote-street. 
Deadman's Lane — -Wars tone-lane. 
Ditch— The Gullet was The Ditch. 
Dock Alley — New Inkleys. 
Dud wall -lane — Dudley-street 
Farmer- street — Sand-street. 
Ferney Fields — Great Hampton-street 
Feck-lane or Peck-lane — Covered bj- 

New-street Station, 
(iod's Cart-lane — Carrs-lane. 
Grindstone-lane — Westfield-road. 
Ilangman's-lane, or Hay Barns-lane — 

Great Hampton-row. 
Harlow-.street — Edmund-street. 



194 



SlIOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Hayniarket — one of the names givtn 

to Ann-street. 
High Town — Upper part of Bull Ring. 
Hill-street — Little Charles- street. 
Jennings-street — Fox-street. 
King-street ant] Queen-street, as well as 

Great Queen-street, have made way 

for New-street Station. 
Lake Meadow-hill — Bonle.-ley-street 

ami Fazeley stieet. 
Lamb- yard — Crooked-lane. 
Long-lane— Harborne-road. 
Ludgate-hill was pare of Clmvph- 

street. 
Martin-street — Victoria-street. 
Mercer-street, or Spicer-street — Spiceal- 

street. 
Monnt Plessant — Ann-street. 
New road — Summer-row. 
Old Meeting-street has at various 

pciiods been known as Grub-street, 

Littleworth street, New-row, and 

Phillips-street. 
Pemberton's-yard, Lower Minories, or 

Coach -yard — Dal ton-street. 
Pitt-street and Porter-street were por- 
tions of Old Cro:-s-stieet. 
Priors Conigree-lane, or Whitealls-lane 

is now Steelhouse-laiic. 
Pri o; y -Ian e ^^! on ni outb -street . 
Rother JIarkct— New-street next to 

High-street and Pligh-street next to 

New-street was once so called. 
Sandy-lane— Snow Hill in the 16th 

century. Lee Bank-road has also 

been called Sandy-lane. 
Shambles — Part of Bull Ring. 
Swan Alley — Worcester-street. 
Swinford-street — Upper end of New- 

strcct. 
Temple Alley, also called Toij'-row — 

Tern pie -row. 
Walmer-lane (in the 15th century 

"Wold Moors) — Lancaster-street. 
Water-street — Floodgate-street. 
Welch End or Welch JIarket— Junc- 
tion of Birll-street, High -street, and 

Dale End. 
Wcstley's-row, Westley-street, or 

London, 'Prentice-street forms part 

of Dalton-street. 
Withering-street — Uni'?n -street. 
Wyllattcs Green — Prospect Row. 



Old Coek Pump. --This was the old 

pump formerly under St. Martin's 
Churchyard wall, from whicli the 
water-carriers and others obtained their 
siipph' of drinking water. The rule of 
the pump was " last come last sewed,' 
and frequently a long string of men, 
women, and children might be seen 
waiting tlieir turn. Many of us can 
recollect the old Digbeth men, with 
tiieir shoulder-yoke and two buckets, 
ploiiding along to find customers for 
their " Warta ; " and certain elderly 
ladies are still in existence who would 
fear tlic shorteiun? of their lives were 
their tea-kettles filled with aught but 
the pure Digbeth water, though it does 
not come from the pump at St. 
Martin's, for that was removed in 1873. 
It has been written that on one occa- 
sion (in the days before waterworks 
were practicable, and the old pump 
was a real blessing), when the poor 
fcdks came to fill their cans early in tlie 
morning, they found the handle gone, 
and great was the outcry thereat. It 
soon afterwards transpired that a 
blacksmith, sliort of iron, had taken 
the handle to make into horseshoes. 

Old Meeting- House Yard.— 

The name gives its own origin. One 
of the earliest built of our Dissenting 
places of worshij) was here situated. 

Old Square.— There are grounds 
for believing that this was the site of 
the Hospital or Priory of St. Thomas 
the Apostle ; the reason of no founda- 
tions or relics of tliat building liaviug 
been come across arising from its having 
been erected on a knoll or mount there, 
iind which would be the highest bit of 
land in Birmingham. This ojiinion is 
borne out by the fact tliat the Square 
was originally called The Priory, and 
doubtless the Upper and Lower Priories 
and tlie Minories of later years were 
at first but the entrance roads to the 
old Hospital, as it was most frequentl}' 
styled in deeils and documents. Mr. 
John Pemberton, who purchased this 
portion of tlie Priory lands in 1697, 
and laid it out for building, would 



8H0WELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



195 



naturally liave it levelleii, aud, uot 
uulikely from a reveieut feeling, so 
planned that the old site of the reli- 
gious houses should remain clear and 
uadesecrated. From old conveyances 
we find that 20s. j)er yard frontage was 
paid for the site of some of the houses 
in the square, and up to 40s. ia Bull 
Street ; the back plots, including the 
Friends' burial ground (once gardens to 
the front houses) being valued at Is. to 
2s. per yard. Some of the covenants 
between the vendor and the purchaseis 
are very curious, such as that the 
latter "shall and will for ever 
hereafter putt and keep good bars of 
iron or wood, or otherwise secure all 
the lights and windows that are or shall 
bs, that soe any children or others may 
uot or cannot creep through, gett, or 
come through such lights or windows 
into or upou the same piece of land." 
Here appears the motive for the erec- 
tion ol the iron railings so closely 
placed in front of the old houses. 
Another covenant was against " put- 
ting there any muckhill or dunghill 
places, pigstyes or workhouses, shojips 
or y)laces that sliall be noysome or 
stink, or ba uautioase or troublesouie," 
and also to have there " no butcher's or 
smith's slang'aler house or smithey 
harth." One of the corner houses, 
originally calied " the Angle House," 
was soLl in 1791 for £420 ; in 1S05 it 
realised £970; in 1S43, £1,330 ? and 
in 1853, £-2,515. The centre of the 
Square was enclosed ami neatly kept as 
a garden with wa'.ks across, for the use 
of the inhabitants there, but (possibly 
it was "nobody's business") in course 
of time it became neglected, and we 
have at least one instance, in 1832, of 
its being the scene of a public demon- 
stration. About the time of tlie Par- 
liamentary election in that year, the 
carriagewa)' round the Square had been 
newly macadamised, and on the pol- 
ling day, when Dempster Heming op- 
posed William Stratfoid Dugdale, the 
stones were found verj- handy, and 
were made liberal use of, as per the 
usual order of the dav at that time on 



such ocjasious. The trees and railings 
were removed in 1836 or 1837 in con- 
sequence of many accidents occurring 
there, the roadways being narrow 
and very dangerous from the numerous 
angles, the Street Commi.-sioners 
undertaking to give the inhabitants a 
wide and handsome flagging as a foot- 
path on all sides of the square, con- 
ditionally with the freeholders of the 
property giving up their rights to and 
share in the enclosure. 

Omnibuses.— The fust omnibus 
was started in 1828, hj Mr. Doughty, 
a fishmonger, and its route lay be- 
tween the While Swan, Snow Hill, to 
the Sun, in Bristol Road. In 1836 an 
"Omnibus Conve3'ance Co," was pro- 
posed, with a magnificent capital of 
£5,000. The projectors would have 
been a little startled if they could have 
seen the prospectuses of some ot our 
modern conveyance companies. — See 
" 'Tramways. " 

Open Spaces.— March 8, 1883, 
saw tlie formation of the Birmingham 
As.iociation for the Prevention of Open 
Spaces and Public Footpaths, the ob- 
ject of which is to be the securing of 
the rights of the public to the open 
spots, footpaths, and green places, 
which, for generations, have belonged 
to them. There are few such left in 
the borough now, but the Association 
may fi^id ])lenty lo do in the near neigh- 
bourhood, and if its members can but 
save us one or two of the old country 
walk.i they will do good .service to the 
communit}'. 

Orang'e Tree.— This public-house 

was built in 1780, the neighbourhood 
being then known as " Boswell 
Heath." A walk to the Orange Tree 
over the "hilly fields," wiiere Cony- 
bere arid otiier streets now are, was a 
pleasant Sunday morning ramble even 
forty years back. 

OratOPy. —Sqq'' Places of II orship. " 

Organs. — According to tlio oft- 
quoteil extract from the Halesowen 
Churchwardens' books — "1497. Paid 



196 



SHOWELl's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



for repeylint; the organs to the organ 
maker at Bromycham 10s,"— organ- 
building must have been one of the 
few recognised trades of this town at 
a very early date. It is a pity the 
same accounts do not give the maker s 
name of the instruments for which in 
1539 they "paid my lord Abbot 4 
marks," or name the parties who were 
then employed and paid for " mending 
and setting the organs up, 4Us. 
Whether any of the most celebrated 
orcans in the country have, or ha,ve 
no"t, been made here, is quite uncertain, 
though the Directories and papers ot 
all dates tell us that makers thereot 
have never been wanting. In 1/rfU, 
one Thomas Swarbrick made the 
organ for St. Mary's Church, Warwick, 
and the Directory for 1836 gives the 
name of Isaac Craddock (the original 
maker of the taper penholder), who 
repaired and in several cases enlarged 
the instruments at many of our places 
ot worship, as well as supplying the 
beautiful organ for St. Marys at 
Coventry.— The tale has often been 
told of the consternation caused 
by the introduction of a barrel organ 
into a church, when from some catch 
or other it would not stop at the fanish 
of the first tune, and had to be carried 
outside, while theremainder of its reper- 
toire pealed forth, but such instruments 
were not unknown in sacred edihces in 
this neighbourhood but a short time 
back [see ^' Northfield"l-A s^Mid 
orcran was erected in Broad Street 
Music Hall when it was opened, and it 
was said to be the second largest 
in England, costing £2,000; it 
wa? afterwards purchased lor bt. 
Pancras' Church, London. — ihe 
organ in the Town Hall, constructed 
by Mr. Hill, of London, cost nearly 
£4.000 and, when put up, was con- 
sidered to be one of the finest and most 
powerful in the world, and it cannot 
nave lost much of its prestige, as many 
improvements have since been made in 
it The outer case is 45ft. high, 40tt. 
wide, and I7ft. deep, and the timber 
used in the construction of the organ 



weighed nearly 30 tons. There are 4 
keyboards, 71 draw stops, and over 
4,000 pipes of various forms and sizes, 
some long, some short, some trumpet- 
like in shape, and others cylindrical, 
while in size they range from two or 
three inches in length to the great 
pedal pipe, 32ft. high and a yard in 
width, with an interior capacity ot I'M 
cubic feet. In the "great organ 
there are 18 stops, viz. : Clarion (2tt.), 
ditto (4ft.), posanne, trumpet, prin- 
cipal (1 and 2). gamba, stopped dia- 
pason, four open d apasons, donblette, 
harmonic flute, mixture sesqui- 
altra, fifteenth, and twelfth, con- 
taining altogether 1,338 pipes. In 
the "choir organ" there are nine 
stops viz. : Wald flute, fifteenth 
stopped flute, oboe flute, principal, 
stoppeddiapason,hohl flute, cornopean, 
and open diapason, making together 
486 pipes. The "swell organ" con- 
tains 10 stops, viz. : Hautbois, trum- 
pet, horn, fifteenth, sesquialtra, prin- 
cipal, stopped diapason, open dia- 
pason, clarion, and boureon and dul 
ciana. the whole requiring 702 pipes 
In tiie " solo organ " the principal 
stops are the harmonica, krum, horn, 
and flageolet, but many of the stops in 
the swell and choir organs work in 
connection with the solo. In the 
"pedal organ" are 12 stops, viz. : 
Open diapason 16ft. (bottom octave) 
wood, ditto, 16ft., metal, ditto, 16ft. 
(bottom oclave) metal, boiirdon 
principal, twelfth, fifteenth,sesqnialtra 
mixture, posanne, 8fc. trumpet, and 
4ft. trumpet. There are besides, three 
32ft. stops, one wood, one metal, and 
one trombone. There are four bellows 
attacled to the organ, and they are ot 
crreat size, one being for the 32tt. pipes 
alone. The Town Hall organ had its 
first public trial August 29, 18^54, 
when the Birmingham Choral Society 
vvent through a selection of choruses, 
as a kind of advance note of the then 
coming Festival. 



Orphanages.— The first local es- 
tablishment of the nature of an orphan- 
acre was the so called Orphan Asylum 



SHOWJJLL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



197 



in Summer Line, built iu 1797 for the 
rearing of poor children from the Work- 
house. It was a very useful institution 
up to the time of its close iu 1852, but 
like the Homes at Marston Green, 
wiiere the young unfortunates from the 
present Workhouse are reared and 
irainod to industriil habits, it was al- 
most a misnomer to dub it an "orphan 
asylum." — An Orphanage at Erding- 
ton was begun by the late Sir Josiah 
Mason, iu 1858, in connection with ins 
Almshouses there, it being his then in- 
tention to find shelter for some three 
score of the aged and infantile " waifs 
and strays" oi humanity. In 1860 he 
extended his design so far as to com- 
mence the pres3ut Orphanage, the 
loundation stone of which was laid by 
himself Sept. 19 in that year, the buihi- 
ing being finished and first occupied 
iu 1863. In addition to the expendi- 
ture ot £60,000 on the buildings, the 
founder endowed the institution with 
land and property to the value of 
£250,000. No publicity was given to 
tliis munificent benevolence until the 
twelvemonths prescribjd by the statute 
had elapsed after the date of the deed, 
when, on the 29th of July, 1869, the 
Orphanage and estates were handed 
over to seven tru-stees, who, togetlier 
with Sir Josiah himself, formed the 
first Board of Management. At his 
death, as provided by the trust deed, 
seven other trustees chosen by the Bir- 
mingham Town Council were added to 
the Board. The inmates of the Or- 
phanage are lo iged, clothed, fed, main- 
tained, educated, anel brought up at the 
exclusive cost of th institution, tliere 
being no restriction whatever as to lo- 
cality, nationality, or religious persua- 
.sion of parents or friends. In 1374 
the building was enlarged, so as to ac- 
commodate 300 girls, 150 boys, and 60 
infants, the original part being reserved 
for the girls and infants and a new 
wing built for the boys. The two are 
connected by the loft\' dining hall, 
200ft. long, with tables and .seats for 
500 children. Every part of the es- 
blishment is on a liberal scale and 



fitted with the best appliances ; 
each child has its separate bed, and 
the plavgrounds are most extensive. — 
The Princess Alice Orphanage, of which 
the foundation-stone wa.s laid Sept. 19, 
1882, has rather more than a Birming- 
ham interest, as it is intended in the 
first instance for the reception of 
children from all parts of the country 
whose parent.s have been Wesleyans. 
In connection with the Wesleyan 
Tlianksgiving Fund, Mr. Solomon 
Jevons, of tliis town, made an offer to 
the committee that if from the fund 
they would nuke a grant of £10,000 
towards establishing an orphanage in 
the neighbourhoo 1 of Birmingham, he 
would supplement it by a donation of 
£10,000. After due consideration the 
otfer was accepted. Plans were pre- 
pared by Mr. J. L, Ball for as much of 
the building as it was proposed imme- 
diately to erect, and the contract was 
let to jMessrs. J. AVilson and Sons, of 
Handsworth. The sanction of her 
Majesty the Queen was obtained to call 
the building the "Princess Alioe " 
Orphanage, in memory of her lamented 
da ghter, the late Princess of Hesse. 
The site cliosen is about halfway be- 
tween Erdington and Sutton Coldfield 
on the Chester Road, and very near to 
the "'Beggar's Bush." Facing the 
road, though forty yards from it, is the 
central block of buildings, 250 feet in 
length, including the master's house, 
board room and offices, store rooms, 
&c. , with a large hall, 90 feet by 33 I'eet, 
for use as a dining hall, general 
gatherings, morning prayers, &c. , the 
children's homes being in cottages 
at varying distances, so that when the 
whole twentj'-four homes (twelve each 
for boys and girls) are erected it will be 
like a miniature village, sundry farm 
buildings and workshops being inter- 
spersed here and there. Each cottage 
is inteneled to be the home of about 
twenty children, but at first, and until 
the hinds for tlie maintenance of the 
orjihanage have been increased, the 
inmates will be limited to the accom- 
modation that can be provided at the 



198 



SHOWELl's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



central blcck and the nearest two or 
three homes, the rest being built as 
occasion offers. 

Oseott CoUesre.— See",S'c/i(;o/.s-,"&c. 

Oxford, (Edward).— The boy Ox- 
ford who shot at the Queen, on June 
10, 1840, was born here and had 
worked at several shops in the town. 

Oxygen.— It was on the first of 
August, 1774, tliat Dr. Priestley dis- 
covered the nature ofoxyf^eu or "deph- 
logisticated air." If he could visit 
Oxygen Street in this towii in August 
of any year, he would probably say 
that the air tliere to be breathed re- 
quired dephlogisticating over and over 
again. 

PaekhOPSeS.— In and about the 
year 1750 the only method of convey- 
ing parcels Of goods from here to 
London was by means of packhorses, 
the charge being at the rate of £7 to 
£9 per ton ; to Liverpool and Bristol, 
£5. 

Panorama.— A circular erection 
in New Street, and nov,- partly in- 
corporated in the Society of Artists 
building, where early in the century 
panoramas of various kinds were 
exhibited. 

Panoramic View.— A piculiar 

view of this town was published in 
1847 by Ackermann of London, and 
was thufs called, es it pnrporteii to give 
the thoroughfan s pictorially, showing 
the houses as they would appear from 
a balloon over Moseley Street. The size 
was 27i in. by 14^ in. As a curiosity 
it is prizable, but its correctness of 
delineation is marred very much by 
the plan adopted. 

Panteehnetheea.— A iarge place 

ol general business, opened in 18'24, at 
the New-street end of Union-passage. 
In 1817, there stood on this spot a 
publichouse, known as the " Old 
Crown," the entrance to which was in 
a large, open gateway at its side, 
through wliudia path led to the cherry 
orchard. The Panteehnetheea was 



one of " tlie siehts" i,f tlie town, the 
exteiior being ornamented with pillars 
and statues ; wliile the name was not 
only a puzzle to the " Black Country " 
visitors, but quite a subject of dispute 
as to its etymology among the Greek 
scholars of the Grammar School 
opposite. 

Paradise Street.- The footpath 

on the Town Hall side used to be 
several feet higher than the causeway, 
and was supplied with iron railings. 
If the name had been given in late 
years, it might be supposed to have 
been chosen because the doors of the 
Parish Offices are in the street. 

Parish^ Offices. — See " Public 

Buildings." 

Parkesine --A material used for 
knife handles aiul other purposes, so 
named after its maker, Alexander 
Parkes, a well-known local manufac- 
turer, wlio said it was made from refuse 
vegetable fibre, pyroxyline, oil, naph- 
tha, and chloride of sulphur. 

Park Lane. — From Aston Cross 
Tavern to Llie Biichfield Road, origin- 
ally being the road outaide the wall of 
Aibton Park. Tlie fir.^t lots of land for 
building that were sold were those 
fronting Church Lane, and they fetcheil 
an average price of 2s. 2il. per yaid, 
each lot being 12 yards by 60 yards. 
Tiie next were tin lots marked out by 
the side of Park Lane, and it was at 
about the middle of Park Laie that 
the first house was built in Aston Parlv 
in 1854 or 1855. 

Park Road. — Leading over tlie hill 
from Aston Cross to Aston Church, was 
the fiist laid out, and the first o))ened 
to the public (Easter Monday, 1855) 
through the old grounds belonging to 
the Holts. 

Parks. — Thanks to tlie munificence 
of iMiss Rvland, Lord Calthurpe, Sir 
Charles Ad'derley, ami Mr. W. Middle- 
more, with the concurrent geneiosity 
of the Church authorities, in whom the 
freehold of our chnrchyanis was in- 
vested, Birmingham cannot be said to 



SHOWELl. S UICTIOXAUY OK BIRMiXGHAM. 



199 



be slioi't of parks and public giounds, 
though witli all put together the aroa 
is nothing like tliat taken from the in- 
habitants nuiier the Enclosures Acts of 
last century. The iiist movement for 
the acquisition of public parks took 
tlie shan,> (if a t wn's meeting, Dec. 
22, 1853, when the burgesses approved 
the purcliase, and in 1854 an Act was 
obtained for the formation thereof. 
The first to be opened was Adderley 
Park, Aug. 30, 1856, the gift of Sir 
Charles Adderley. Its art-a is IOa. 
Or. 22r. , and it is held nominally on a 
999 years' lea'e, at a rental of 5s. per 
year. Calthorpe Park was opened 
June 1, 1857 ; its area being 31a. 1r. 
13p. , and it is held under a grant by 
the Calthorpe family that is equivalent 
to a conveyance in fee. Aston Park 
was opened Sept. 22, 1864 ; its area is 
•i9A. 2r. 8p. , and it belongi to the 
town by purcha e. Camron Hill 
Park, the gift of Miss Ryland, was 
opened Sept. I, 1S73 ; its area being 
o7a. 1r. 9p. In 1874, the Town 
Council gave the Trustees of Holliers' 
Charity the sum of £8,300 for the 8 A. 
8lt. 28p. of land situated between the 
Mosaley Road and Alcester Street, and 
after expending over £5, 400 inlaying 
out, fencing, and planting, opeufd it as 
Highgate Park June 2, 1876. In 1876 
Summerheld House and groun^is cover- 
ing 12a. Or 20p. were pui.hased from 
Mr. Henry Wess for £9,000, and after 
fencing. &c., was tlirown open as Sutn- 
merfield Park, July 29, 1S76. In the fol- 
lowing year, Mr. William Midilemore 
presented to the town a plot of ground, 
4.\. lu 3p. ine.'ctenr, in Burbury Street, 
having spent about £3,500 in fencing 
and laying it out, principally as a rec- 
reation ground for chihlren (the total 
value being over £12,000), and it was 
opened as Hockley Park, December I, 
1877.— Small Heach Park, comprising 
41a. 3r. 34p. , is another of the gifts of 
Miss Rvland, who presented it to the 
town June 2, 1876, and in addition 
provided £4,000 of the £10,000 the 
Town Council expended in lajdng it 
oat. The foi-mal opening ceremony 



took place April 5, 1879. There are 
still several points of the compass di- 
recting to suburbs which would be 
benehted by the appropriation of a 
little breathing place or two, and 
possibly in due time they will he ac- 
quired. The Xechells peoj le have iiad 
laid out for their delectation the waste 
ground near the gas works which may 
be called Necheils Park for the time 
being. The Earl of Dartmoutli in June, 
1878, gave 56 acres out of Sandwell 
Park to the inhabitants of We.st Broni- 
wich, and the}' call it Dartmouth 
Park. 

PaPk Street takes its name from 
the small park or wood .surrounding 
Park House, once existing somewhere 
near to the burial ground. 

Park Street Gardens— As they 

are now called, comprise the Park 
Street Burial Ground and St. Bar- 
tholomew's Churchyard, the possession 
of which (under a nominal lease for 
999 years) was given by the Rectors of 
St. -Martin's and Sr. Bartholomew's to 
the Corporation according to the pro- 
visionsof theCiojed BurialGrounds Act. 
The whoie area included a little over 
live acres, anil tlie sie tluis given was 
valued at £50,000. About half an acre 
was devoted to tiie widening of the 
surrounding streets, th) remainder 
being properly fenced in and laid out 
as reeieating grounds and gardens. 
The opening ceremony took place, 
June 25, 1880. 

Parliamentapy Elections.— 

Notwith.-,tan '.mg tlie safeguards pro- 
vided by the Ballot Act, and all the 
deterrent measures ' enacted against 
bribery and intimidation, and those 
peculiar tactics known as " getting up 
steam," the period of an election for 
Parliamentary representatives is a 
time of great excitement even in these 
days. But it is comparatively naught 
to what it used to be, when the art of 
kidnapping Tory voters, or " bottling" 
Wiiigs, was consi'lored as only a small 
part of the education required by 
aspiring political agents. Leading 



200 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



burly prizefighters to clear the hustings 
on noininatiou day, upsetting car- 
riages containing voters going to poll, 
and such like practical jokes were all 
en regie, and as such "goings-on" 
were to be founil as much on the one 
side as the other, neither party's pot 
had a right to call the opponent's 
kettle black. Prior to the enfranchise- 
ment of the borough, one of the most 
exciting elections in which the Brums 
had been engaged wasthatfor the county 
of Warwick in 1774, when Sir Charles 
Holte, of Aston Hall, was returned. 
The nomination took place Oct. 13, the 
candidates being Mr. Shipworth (a pre- 
vious member, Mr. (afterwards Lord) 
Mordaunt, and Sir Charles, who for 
once pleased the Birmingham folks by 
calling himself an "Independent." 
The polling, which commenced on the 
20th, was continued for ten days, clos- 
ing on the 31st, ami as ]\Ir. Mordaunt 
had the lead for many days the excite- 
ment was intense, and the rejoicings 
proportionate at the end when the local 
candidate came in with flying colours. 
The voting ran : — Shipwith, 2,954 ; 
Holte, 1,845; Mordaunt, 1,787.— A 
Birmingham man was a candidate 
at the next great county contest, 
forty-six years after. Tliis was Mr. 
Richard Spooner, then (1820) a young 
man and of rather Radical temiencies. 
His opponent, Mr. Francis Lawley, 
was of the old-fashioned Whig party, 
and the treatment his sujiporters re- 
ceived at the hands of the Birmingham 
and Coventry people was disgraceful. 
Hundreds ol special constables had to 
be sworn in at Warwick during the 
fourteen days' polling, business being 
suspended for days together, but 
Radical Richard's roughs failed to in- 
fluence the election, as Mr. Lawley ob- 
tained 2,153vote«against Mr. Spooner's 
970. As Mr. Spooner grew older he 
became more prominent in comn.ercial 
circles, and was peculiarlj'^ aic fait in 
all currencv- matters, but he lost his 
hold on local electors bj' turning to the 
Conservative side of politics. Of this 
he was more than once reminded in 



after years, when speaking in the Town 
Hall, by individuals taking off their 
coats, turning them inside out, and 
having put them on again, standing 
prominently in front of "Yellow Dick" 
as they then called him. 

That the inhabitants of Birming- 
ham, so rapidly increasing in numbers 
and wealth, sliould be desirous of direct 
representation in the House of Com- 
mons, could be no wonder even to the 
most bigoted politicians of the last and 
early part of the present century. 
Possibly, had there been '91 Riots, 
nor quite so much " tall talk," the 
Legislature might have vouchsafed us 
a share in the manufacture of our 
country's laws a little earlier than they 
did, and the attemjit to forces member 
through the doors of the House could 
not have added to any desire that 
may have existed in the minds of the 
gentlemen inside to admit the repre- 
sentative of Birmingham. The New- 
hall Hill meeting of July 12th, 1819, 
may be reckoned as the first pitched 
battle between the invaders and defend- 
ers of tlie then existing Parliamentary 
Constitution. Tiie appointment of 
Sir Charles Wolesey as " Legislatorial 
Attorne}^ and Representative," with 
instructions to take his seat as M.P. 
for the town (and many so styled him, 
even though made at a meeting of 
20,000 would-be electors, does not 
appear to have been the wisest way 
to have gone to work, notwithstanding 
the fact tliat Sir Charles hiniself said 
he had no doubt of their right to semi 
him up as their Member. Prose- 
cution of the leaders followed, 
as a matter of course, and if the twenty- 
and-odd-thousmds of the local Con- 
servative electors of to-day were thus to 
try to obtain their due share of represen- 
tation in the House, most likely the 
leaders of such a movement would be 
as liberally dealt with. The "battle 
of freedom," as the great Reform move- 
ment came lo be called, has often been 
described, and honour been given to all 
who took part in it. The old soldiers 
of the campaign should be allowed, if 



SHOWBLL'S dictionary, of BIRMINGHAM. 



201 



they choose, to "figlit their hatth's o'er 
attain," as long as they live, but it is 
ab)uttime that the hatchet of party 
spite, (hitherto so freely used in local po- 
litical warfare) was buried out of sight, 
and all sides be as willing to give ecpial 
rights us their fathers were to fight for 
theirs. Birmingham, however, was 
not without some friends in Parlia- 
ment, and on the occasion of the dis- 
franchisement of the borough of East 
Retford in 1827, it was propo.sed by 
Mr. Charles Tennyson that the two 
seats thus voided should be given to 
Birmingham. Mr. George Attwood was 
High BailifT at the time, and he at 
once called a public meeting to sup- 
port Mr. Tennyson's proposition by 
petition. The Public Office was not 
lirge enough for those who attended 
the meeting (June 22, 1827) and they 
adjourned to Beardsworth's Reposi- 
tory, where speeches were delivered 
1)\' the leading men of all 
parties. Petitions to both Houses 
were drawn up and signed, 
the county members, Dugdale Strat- 
ford Dugdale and Francis Lawley, 
Esqrs., being asked to introduce the 
one to the House of Commons, and 
Lord Dudley and Ward (Baron of 
iiirmingham) and Lord Cilthorpe to 
support the petitioners' praj'er in the 
Upper House. Mr. Tennyson (who 
afterwards took the name of D'Eyn- 
court) brought in his Bill, but notwith- 
standing all that could be said or done 
by the friends of the town they were 
outvoted (March 21, 1828), and the 
Bill was thrown out. The next four 
years were full of trouble, and the news 
of the passing of the Reform Bill (June 
7, 1832), which at last gave Birming- 
liam its long-sought political rights 
was most welcom-; indeed. The first 
election day was fixed for December 
12, and for some time it was rumoured 
that Mr. Richard Spooner would stand 
in opposition to Messr.s. Thomas Att- 
wood and Joshua Scholefield, the chosen 
representatives of the Liberals ; but the 
Conservative party, deeming it but 
right that those who liad borne the 



brunt of the constitutional fight should 
be allowed the first honours of . the 
local victor}^, declin d to oppose those 
gentlemen, and they were accordingly 
returned without opj>osii;ion. The 
hustings had been erected on a plot 
of land opposite the Public Offices and 
here the nominations took place at the 
early hour of 8 a.m. The proceedings 
were over by nine o'clock, but 
the "victory," as the popular 
party chose to consider it, did not 
satisfy them, and as there was 
an election on at Walsall the same 
day it was determined thit the Bir- 
mingham Liberals should go there to 
help Mr. f'osco Attwood in his con- 
test with Mr. Foster. A procession of 
some thousand-;, with bands and ban- 
ners, according marched the whole 
of the distance so Walsall, and if their 
behaviour there represented what they 
were prepared to do at home hid they 
not been allowed to have their own 
way, it was well for Biruiinghani they 
were not opposed. Long before even- 
ing this town was in the most fearful 
excitement, the passengers and guards 
of the various coaches which had 
passei through Walsill bringing the 
direst news of fire ani riot, mixed 
with reports of the military being 
called out and firing on the people, 
numbers being killed, &c. Fortunately 
there was much exaggeration in these 
tales, and b}' degrees most of the Bir- 
mingham men found their way home, 
though manj'' were in sal plight 
through the outrageous behaviour of 
themselves and the " victorious " crew 
who went ofT so gaily with them in the 
morning. The elections in after years 
may be briefly chronicled. 
1835. — At the general election, which 
occu'red this year, the Town Hall 
was first used as the place of nomi- 
nation (Jan. 7th). During the pro- 
ceedings the front of the gnat gal- 
lery gave way and precipitated those 
sitting there on to the heads of the 
people below, but providentially, 
the injuries received were not of a 
serious cha'acter. Mr. R. Spooner 



202 



SHOWELl'w dictionary of BIKMIXGHAM. 



was most impatiently heaiHl, and 
the show of hands was dccidedlv 
against him. The state of tha poll 
showed : — ■ 

Thomas Attwood 1,718 votes ) p^ptm-jieil. 
Joshua Scholefieia 1,G60 ,, ) 
Richard Spoonev '.H5 ,, 

1837, August.— At tliis election the 
late sitting members were opposed 
by Mr. A. G. Stapleton, but, un- 
successfully, the voting being 



Thomas Attwodd 
Joshua Scholelield 
A. G. Stapleton 



2.|45 ) Returned. 

-,114 ) 

1,04(5 



1840, January.— Mr. Attwood having 
resigned, Sir Cliarles Wetherell ap- 
peared in the Conservative interest 
against Mr. G. F. Muntz. Mr. 
Josajdi Sturgp, who also issued an 
address to the electors, retiring on 
the solicitation of his friemis, on the 
understanding that the whole Liberal 
party Avould support him at the next 
vacancy. The result was in favour 
of Mr. "Muntz, tlius— 



Geo. Fred. Muiitz 
SirC, Wetherell 



1,45-1— Retuvntd 
915 



1841, July.— Mr. Richard Spoouer, 
who op|iosed Messrs. liluutz and 
Scholefield, was again defeated, 
tlirough receiving the suffrages of 
double the number of electors who 
voted for hiin in 1835. The returns 
were — 



Geo. Fred. Muntz 
Joshua Scholelield 
Richard Spoouer 



•^.1^6 {Returned. 
1,825 



1842, -August.— Mr. Joseph Sturge 
fou-lit Mr. Walter (of Tlie Times) for 
the'houour of representing Notting- 
ham, but tlie plucky " Bivmimjliam 
Quaker Ghariist," as The Times 
calli'd liim, came off second best, the 
votes given bsiug 1,799 for Walter, 
and 1,725 for Sturge. 

1843, March.— Mr. Newdegate was first 
returned for North Warwickshire, 
and he retains his seat to the present 
day. 



1844, July.— On the death of Mr. 
Sciioleiield, his sou William was 
nominated to fill the vacant seat for 
Birmingham. Mr. Sturge, _ relying 
on the promisss made him in 1840, 
also put in a claim, but his connec- 
tion with the working classes, atnl 
his "complete suffrage" dream, had 
estranged many of his friends, an 1 
the split in the party eiiabled Mr. 
Spooner at last to b.cad the poll, and 
for the first and only time (up to June 
1885) a Conservative member went 
to the Hou.'^e as representative for 
Birmingham. 

Richard Spoouer . . . -2,095 \ Returned. 
William Scholelield .. •■bj^^-'a * 
Joseph Sturge .. •• 34!> 

1847 August— Mr. Spooner this time 
had to nuikeway forMr. Scholefield ; 
Mr. Serjeant Alien, who also tued, 
being '''nowhere" in the running, 
the figures being :— 
Geo. Fred. Muntz . . •• 2,8^^0 ^ Returned. 
William Scholefield .. --'"-f 
Richard Spooner .. .."2,302 
Serjeant Allen .. ■• ^'^ 

Mr. Spooner was soon consoled for 
liis defeat here bv being returned for 
North Warwickshire along with Mr. 
Newdegate, though not without a 
liard struggle, his opponent, the 
Hon. W. H. Leigh, polling 2,2/8 
votes against Spoouer's 2,454, and 
Newdcgate's 2,915. Mr. Spoouer 
retained his seat for Norlh Warwick 
until his death in 18G4. 

1852, July.— No one oppo.?ed the re- 
election of Mes-r.s. Muntz and Schoh - 
field. 

1857, March.— The same gentlemen 
we're again returned without oppo- 
sition. , <• -VI 

i857, August.— On the deith of Mr. 
Muntz, though the names ot George 
Dawson aiid"^oth-rs were whisi)ered, 
the unauimouj choice fell upon Mr. 
John Brisht, " the rejected of Man- 
chester," and it may be truly said he 
was at that time the chosen of the 
people. Birnungham meu of all 
shades of politics appreciating his 



SUOWIOl.LS DICTIONARY OH" lUUMlNGflAM. 



203 



elcquenoe and aitiiiiiin<,' his sterling 
liouesi)', though many differed with 
liis opinions. Aildresses were early 
issiud by Bit on Dijkensnn "Webster 
and Mr. M'Geachy, but both were at 
once withdrawn when Mr. Bright 
consented to stand and /(i'.9 addiess 
appeared. 
1S59, April).— At the election of this- 
year, tliough defeat must have been 
a foregone conclusion, Mr. Thomas 
D. Acland waged battle with ilessrs. 
Scholefield and Bright, and the re- 
sult was : — 



William Scholefield 



"-.'i • Heturned. 



John Bright -1,282 » 

T. D. Acland 1,514 

1864, December.— Ou the de-ith of Mr. 
Spoouer, Mr. Daveiiport-Bronilcy, 
(alterwards Bromley-Davenport) was 
elected un -opposed, and retained h.is 
seat until his death, June 15, 1884. 

1854. — Householders, whose rates were 
compounded for by their laudlonis, 
had hitherto not been allowed to 
exercise their right of voting, bat 
the decision given in their favour, 
Feb. 17, 18G4, was the means of 
raising t!ie number of voters' names 
on the register to over 40,000. 

1865, July.— Whether from fertrof the 
nevly-formed Liberal As-^ociition 
(which was inaugurated in FeViruary 
for the avowed purpose of controlling 
the Pari iamen tar}' eleciions in the 
borough and adjoining county 
divisions), or thelacdcof asuffieiently 
popular local man, tliere was no 
opposition offered to the return ol 
JMessrs. Scholefield and Bright at the 
election of this year. 

1807, July.— On the death of Mr. 
ScholeheM, Mr. George Dixon was 
nominated by the Libernls ami 
opposed by Mr. Sampson S. Lloyd 
The result was : — 

Geo. i>ixon .5,819 Retunied. 

S. S. Lloyd i,2U 

1868, November. — This was the fir.^t 
election after the passing of the 
Reform Bill of 1867, by wl.ich Bir- 



mingham became entitled to senil 
three members to the House oi 
Commons ; and as the Bill contained 
a proviso (generally known as the 
" minority clau.se ") that each voter 
should be limited to giving his sup- 
port to two only of tlio candidates, 
an immense amount of interest was 
taken in the intei-est that ensued. 
The Conservatives brought forward 
Mr. Sampson S Lloyd and Mr. 
Sebastian Evans, theLiberal Associa- 
tion nominating Messrs. John Blight, 
Goorge Dixon and Philip H.-nry 
Muntz (brother to the old member 
G. F. Muntz). The election has 
become historical from the cleverly- 
'.nauipulateil scheme devised by the 
Liheral Association, and the strict 
enforcement of thfiir " vote-as-you're- 
told " policy, by which, abnegating 
all personal freedom or choice in the 
matter the electors under the in- 
lluenco of the Associtition were 
moved at the will of the chiefs of 
their part}'. That the new tactics 
\vere successful is shown by the 
returns : — 

George "Dixon 15,188 ■) 

P. H. Muntz 14,riU VKelmned. 

Jolui Ui-ight 14,60; j 

S. S. I.loyd .. .... S,700 

S. Evans T,Ool 

186S, Dec. 21.— Mr. Bright having 
been appointed President oP the 
Board of Trade, was re-electe l with- 
out opposition. He held office till 
the clo.se of 1870, but for a long time 
w;is absent from Parliament through 
i I'll ess 

1873, Aug. 6. — Mr. John Jalfray, one 
ot the proprietors of the Daihi Post, 
contested Eist Statfordshire against 
Mr. AUsopp, but he only obained 
2,893 votes, as against Mr. Allsopp's 
3.630. 

1873, Oct. 18. — Soon after recovery of 
h-:alth Mr. Bright returned to his 
seat, and being appointed to the 
ofKce of the Chancellor of the Duchy 
of Lancaster, was re-elect.'d in due 
courfe. 



204 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



1874, Jan, 30. — No ojiposition was 
made to the re-election of Messrs. 
Blight, Dixon, and Muntz. 

1876, June 27.— Mr. Joseph Chamber- 
lain was elected without opposition 
on tlie resifinatioii of Mr. Dixon. 

1880, March 31.— Thou.^h free from all 
theriotingand possiblebloodshedthat 
would have attended sncli au occasion 
a hundred years ago, the election of 
1880 was the most exciting and 
hardest-fought battle between the 
two great political ])arties of the 
town j'et recorded in local history. 
The caudiilaies were Messrs. John 
Bright, Joseph Chambeilaiu and 
Philip Henry Muntz, the previous 
members and nominees of the Liberal 
Association, and Major Bnrnahy and 
the Hon. A. C. G. Calthorpe, Conser- 
vatives. There were 139 polling 
stations, and no less than 47,776 
out of the 63,398 jiersons whose 
names were on the register, recorded 
their votes under the protection 
of the Ballot Act of 1870, now 
first brought into use at a Parlia- 
mentary election. The usual cour- 
tesies (!) appertaining to ]iolitical 
contests were indulged in to con- 
siderable extent, and personalities of 
all sorts much too freel}' bandied 
about, but the election altogether 
pas-el off in the most creditable 
manner. The returns of the polling 
stood thus — 

Pliilip Henry Muntz . . 22,803 ) 

Jdhn Bii^'ht 21,986 v Returned. 

Jost'iili Cliainberlain .. 19,476) 

Major Burnaliy .. .. 15,716 

Hon. A. C. G. Caltliorpe 14,270 

An analysis of the polling issued by 
the Mayor about a week after the 
election showed that 16.098 voters 
supported the Conservative candi- 
dates and 33,302 the Liberals. 
Deducting the 2,004 who "split" 
their n otes between the parties, and 
380 whose papers were either rejected 
or not counted as being doubtful, 
tlie total gives 47,396 as the actual 
uumlier whose votes decided the 
election. As a curiosity and a 



puzzle for future politicians, the 
Mayor's analysis is worth preserving, 
as here re-analysed : — 

Plumpers. 

Calthorpe only .. .. 42 

Buinaby only . . . . 164 20'i 

Cliambbvlaiii only .. .. 50 

Jluntzoiily .. .. 199 

Bright only . . . . 86 335 

Split Votes. 

Caltliorpe and Miintz .. 153 

Calth.irpe and Clianiberlain 83 

Burnaby and Muntz .. 1,239 

Burnaby and Chamberlain.. 182 

Bright and Calthorpe .. 104 

Bright and Burnaby . . 243 2,0 )4 

Con. Party Votrs, 

Burnaby and Calthorpe . . 13,888 13,888 

Liberal Party Votes. 

Chamberlain and Muntz.. 9,410 
Bright and Muntz .. .. 11,802 
Bi'ight and Chamberlain . . 9,751 30,963 



Voting papers rejected 
and doubtful 



380 



Total number of voters 
polled 47,776 

Mr. Bright having been again ap- 
pointed Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster, and Mr. Chamberlain 
chosen as President of the Board of 
Trade, tliey were re electci, without 
opposition, early in May following 
the election. Three other local 
Liberal gentlemen were returned to 
Parliament during this general 
election, viz. :— Mr. Jesse Collings 
for Ipswich (receiving 3,074 votes), 
m-. H. Wiggiu for E^st Stafford- 
shire (4,617 votes), and Mr. J. S. 
Wright for Nottingham (8,085 
votes), The last-named, however, 
did not live to take his seat, dying 
very suddenly while attending a 
committee-meeting at the Council 
House, Birmingham, on the 15th 
April. — See " Statues," &c 
According to the published returns of 
January, 1884, Birniinghani was then 
the largest borough constituency in 
Englanil, the number of electors on 
the register then in force being 
63,221 ; Liverpool coming next with 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF lUUMINGHAM. 



205 



61,336 ; and Lambeth third, witli 
55,588 ; but Glasgow was tlie largest in 
the United Kingdom, with 68,0'25. 
The largest county constitucncj'iii Eng- 
land and Wales was ]\Iiddlesex, with 
41,299 electors ; the next being South- 
West Lancashire, with 30,624 ; the 
third, South-East Lancashire, with 
28,728 ; and the fourth, the southern 
division of the West Riding, with 
27.625. The total electorate for Eng- 
land and Wales, was 2,660,444 ; Scot- 
land, 331,264 ; and Ireland, 230,156. 



The lollowing statistics have been 
taken from the returns named, show- 
ing in respect of each constituency in 
this neighbourhood, the area of each 
borough, city, or county division, the 
poi.ulation, the number of inhabited 
houses, the number of voters and their 
qualifications, and the Members sent to 
Parliament i>rior to the i)as->ing of the 
Fiancliise and Redistribution Bills of 
1885, and are woith preserving for 
future local reference : — 



City or Borough 
Electors. 



County. 
Electors 



Borough, City,j'jJ — 
or County | «S 
Division ,<j 



lUrmingham. . . . 

Bewtlley | 

iiridgnorth ! 

Coventry i 

Droitwich 

Dudley i 

E. Stafl'ordshire 
K. Worcestershr. 

FiVeshaiii ; 

Kidderminster. .' 

I.ichlield 1 

Newcastle (Sttt.) 
N. Statl'orJshire 
N. Warwickshire 
>i. Warwickshire 

Staflord 

iStoke-ou-Trent 

Tarn worth 

Walsall 

Warwick 

Wednesbury. . .. 
W. Statlordshire 
AV. Worcestershr 
Wolverhampton 
Worcester 



13 

Hi 

17 

10 
43 

12 

218 
L124 
3^ 



Population 
in I in 
1871 18S1 



a4;!,r87 

7,614 

7,317 

41,348 

9,510 

S2,249 
101, 5B4 
147,tiS 
4,888 

20,814 

7,;;47 



irj,9i 

120,21 

1:J4,723 

!tO,905 

15,1140 

130,575 

11,403 

40,018 

8i| 10,080 

17|n0,809 

434 |100,413 

341 00,419 

29Pr 150,978 

5"| .38,110 



400,774 
8,078 
7,212 

40,563 
9,858 

87,527 

138,439 

177,257 

5,112 

25,033 
S,34'1 

17,493 
132,081 
170,081: 

99,592 

18,904 
152,. 394 

14,101 

59,402 

11,800 
124,43' 
117,73' 

07,139 
104,332 

40,3541 



Inhabited 
Houses 



1871 1 1881 



GS,532 

1,717 

1,505^ 

9,334 

1,931| 

15,985! 

19,960| 

30, 551 i 

1,001 

4,292 

1,543 

3,180 

24,194 

29,032 

20,803 

2,939 

24,582 

2,3.57 

0,506 

2,418 

22,621 

20,134 

13,895 

30,424 

8,043 



3 = 2 
5 " 



78,301 63, 

1,839 

1,.52 
10,18-5j 4- 

2,006| 1 
16,SS9li4 
20,0031 
35,781 

1,0501 

5,002 

1,078 

3,393i 
20,403 
35,151 
21,485 

3,385 
2S,350j21, 

2,71 
11,140 

2,518 
23,443 
23,261 
13,928 
31,475 

8,539 



.559131 
,948'59 



5,106 
4,745 



3,008 

5,878 

,501 



2,715 
1,142 



Ik f^ 



141 0,481 
507,6,931 



1,071|7,141 
516:5,00.- 
688 3,253 



001 
1,033 



8, .570 
4,420 



218 
740 
410 
834 
728 
243 
825 
903 
242 
115 
220 
,097 
502 
584 
,144[ 
229 
,824' 
701| 
810 
946 
,001 
690 
,362 



Parsonage. — The Old Parsonage, 
at tlie corner of Smallbrook Street and 
Pershore Street, an old-fashioned two- 
storey gabled house, was moated round 
and almost hidden ny trees, and has 
been preserved for future historians in 
one of David Cox's sketches, which re- 
mains as a curious memento of the once 



rural appearanceof whatare now some of 
the busiest spots in town. The house 
was pulled down in 1826. 

Papson and Clepk. -A noted 

publichouso on the old Chester Road is 
the Royal Oak, better known as "The 
Parson and Clerk." An old pamphlet 
thus gives the whv and wherefore : 



206 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



" There had used to be on the top of 
the house two figm-es — one of a parson 
leaning his head i:i prdver, while the 
clerk was behind him with uplifted 
axe, going to chop off his head. Tliese 
two hgiires were placed there by John 
Gough, Esq., of Perry Hall, to com- 
memorate a law suit between him and 
the Rev. T. Lane, each having an- 
noyed the other. Mr. Lanu had kept 
the Squire out of possession of this 
house, and had withheld the liciuses, 
while the latter had compelled the 
clergyman to officiate daily in the 
church, by sending his servants to 
form a congiegition. Squire Gougli 
won the day, re-built the house in 
1788, and put up the figures to annoy 
Parson Lane, parsons of all sorts bdiug 
out of his good books." 

Parsons, Preachers, and 
Priests of the Past. — It would 

b(i a lengthy list or make note of all 
the worthy and reverend gentlemen 
who liave, from pnlnit or })latform, 
lectured an<l preached to the jieople in 
our town, or who have aided in the 
intellectual advancement and educa- 
, tion of the rising generation of their 
time. Church and Chapel alike have 
had their good men and true, and 
n-ither can claim a monopoly of talent, 
or boa'^t much of their superiority in 
Christian fellowship or love of their 
kind. JIany she))herds have been 
taken from their i-oclled flocks 
whose jilaces at the time it was thought 
could never bo filled, but whos? very 
names are now only to be found on 
their tombs, or mentioned in old 
magazines or newspapers. Some few 
are here recalled as of interest from 
their position, peculiarities, kc. 

John Angcll James. — A Wiltshire 
man was John Angell James, Avho, 
after a short course of itincrar}' preach- 
ing came lo Birmingham, and for more 
than fifty years was the iioHsed 
minister of Carr's Lane congregation. 
He was a good man and eloquent, 
having a ceilain attractive way which 
endeared him to many. He lived, and 
was loved by those who liked liim, till 



he had reached the age of 74, dying 
Oct. 1, 1859, his remains being buried 
like those of a saint, under the pulpit 
from which he had so long preached. 
Samuel Bac'ie. — Couiing as a Christ- 
luas-box to his parents in 1804, anii 
early trained for the pulpit, the Rev. 
Samuel Bache joined the Rev. John 
Kentish in his ministrations to the 
Unitarian flock in 1832, and remained 
With us until 1868. Loved in his 
own communit}' for faithfully preach- 
ing their ()eculiar doctrines, Mr. Bache 
proved himself a man of broad and 
enlightened .sympathies ; one who 
coidd appreciate an i support anything 
and everything that tended to elevate 
the people in their amusements as well 
as in matti'rs connected with education. 

George Croft. — The Lectureship of 
St. Martin's in the first year of the 
jiresent century was vested in Dr. 
George Crofr-, one of the good old sort 
of Church and King parsons, orthodox 
to the bickbone, but from sundry 
peculiarities not particularly popular 
with the major portion of his parish- 
ioners. He died in 1809. 

George Diwson. — Born in London, 
Febiuary 24, 1821, George Dawson 
studied at Glasgow tor the Baptist 
ministry, and came to this town in 
18i4 to take the charge of Mount Zion 
chapel. The cribbed and crabbed 
restraints of denontinational church 
government failed, however, to satisfy 
his independent heart, and in little 
more than two years his connection 
with the Mount Zion congregation 
ceased (June 24, 1846). The Church 
of the Saviour was soon after erected 
for him, and here he drew together 
worshippers of many shades of leligious 
belief, and ministered unto them till his 
death, .^s a lecturer he was known 
everywhere, anel there are but few 
towns in the kingdom that he did not 
visit, while his tour in America, in the 
Autumn of 1874, was a great success. 
His connection with the public insti- 
tutions of this town is part of our 
modern history, and no man yet ever 
exercised such influence or did more to 
advance the intelligence and culturo 



SHOWKLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



207 



of the people, and, as John Bri<,'ht 
ouce said of Cobdeii "it was not 
until we had lost him that we 
knew how mucli we loved him." Tlie 
sincerity and honesty of ymrpose right 
ihroiigh his life, and exhibited in all 
liis actions, won the hiirhest esteem of 
even those who dilfered from him, and 
the announcement of liis sudden death 
(Nov. 30, 1876) was felt as a blow by 
men of all creeds or politics who had 
ever known him or heard him. To him 
the world owes the formation of the 
first Shakesperian Library — to have 
witnessed i s destructioa would indeed 
have been bitter agony to the man who 
(in October, 1866) had been chosen to 
deliver the inaugural address at the 
opening of the Free Reference Library, 
to which he, with friends, made such 
an addition. As a preaclier, he was 
gifted witli remarkable powers ; ns a 
lecturer, he was unsurpassed ; in social 
matters, he was the friend of all, with 
ever-open hand to those in need ; as a 
politician, though keen at rei^arteeand 
a hard hitter, he was straightforward, 
and no time-server ; and in the word 
of his favourite author, "Take him all 
in all, we ne'er shall look on his like 
again." — See "Statues," &c. 

jr. D. Long.—Tha Rev. Wm Dun- 
can Long (who died at Godilmiug, 
April 12, 187S), according to the 
Record, was " a good man, and full of 
the Holy Ghosc and of faith." In our 
local records I.e is uotecl as being dis- 
tinguished for liard work among the 
poor of St. Bartholomew's, of which 
parish he was minister for many years 
prior to 1851. 

Thomas Swami. — The Re v. Thomis 
Swanu, who eame here in January 
1829, after a few years' sojourn in 
India, served the Cannon Street body 
for 28 year.s, during which time he 
baptised 966 persons, admitting into 
membership a total of 1,233. Jlr. 
Swaun liad an attack of apoplexy, 
while in Glasgow, on Sunday, llarch 
7, 1857, and died two days afterward?. 
His remains were brought to Birming- 
Laui, and were followed to the grave 



(.M.irch 16) by a large concourse of 
person-!, a number of ministers taking 
part in the fiuieral service. 

IF. L. ffi^cs.— The Rn-. W. Leese 
Giles, wiio filled the puli>it in Cannon 
Stree: from O.-t, 1863, t > July, 1872, 
was peculiarly successful in his minis- 
trations, esp-cially among the young. 

Lewis Chapmin.. — The Rev. Lewis 
Chapman (taken to hi> fathers 0.;t. 2, 
1877, at the age of 81), after jjcrforming 
the duties and functions of Rabbi to 
the local Jewish community lor more 
than forty-five years, was, from his 
amiability an I benevolence, character- 
ised by many Gentile friends as "an 
Israelite indend, in whom is no guile." 

Hon. G. M. Forkc. — Brother to the 
late Earl of Hardvvicke, and born in 
1809, Mr. Yorke, on finishing his 
University education, entered the 
arm)-, obtaining a commission in the 
Fourth Dragoons: and, considering his 
stibsequent connection with Birmiug- 
iiaui in a widely dilferent character, it 
is curious that his first visit here should 
have been paid as an oliicer of dragoons 
in the Chartist riots of 1839. Mr. 
Yorke's personal tastes, however, led 
him to prefer the Church to the arm\-, 
and he entered into holy ordeis, the 
Bishop of Worcester, in 1844, lu-esent- 
ing him to the rectory of St. Philip's : 
and at 2 later [leriod he wai nominated 
Rural Dean. Mr. Yorke held the 
living of St. Piiilip's for the long 
period of thirty years — until 1874 — 
when the Prime Minister appointed 
him Dean of Worcester. During his 
residence in Birmingham Mr. Yorke 
did much public service in connection 
with various educational in-^titutions. 
He promoted good schools in St. 
Philip's parish, and was an active mem- 
ber of the committee of the Educa- 
tional Prize Scheme, and then of the 
Education Aid Society, both of them 
institutions which were of great value 
in their day. He also took a strong 
interest in the affairs of Queen's 
College, of which he was for many 
years the Vice-president. In the Dio- 
cesan Training College, at Saliley, he 



:?08 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



likewise took part as a member of the 
managing body and lie was interested 
in the School of Art and the Midland 
Institute. AVherever, indeed, there 
was educational work to be done, tlie 
Rector of St. Philip's was sure to be 
found helping in it ; and though there 
have been many Rectors at the church 
it can be trul.y S'id tliat none left 
more regretted by the poor, notwith- 
standing the aristocratic handle to his 
name, than did Mr. Yorke. The 
Hon. and Rev. gentleman died at 
Worcester, Oct. 2, 1879. 

J.C. J/iWcr.— The Rev. John Cale Mil- 
ler (born at Margate, in 1814), tliough 
only thirty-two, had already at- 
tracte I tlie notice of the Evangelical 
party in the Church, and his appoint- 
ment to St. Martin's (Sept. 1846), 
gave general satisfaction. His reputa- 
tion as a preaclier had preceiied him, 
and he soon diffused a knowledge of his 
vigour as a worker, and his capacity 
as an administrator. Few men have 
entered so quickly into popular favour 
as Dr. Miller did, which may, })er- 
haps, be accounted for by tlie fact 
that he not only showed a sincere 
desire to live in harmony with the 
Dissenters of all shades, but that 
he was prepared to take his full share 
in tlie public work of the town, 
and determined to be the minister 
— not of any section of the people, 
but of tire parish altogether. 
Under his direction St. Martin's b came 
a model parish. New facilities were af- 
forded for public worship, schools were 
established, ])arochial institutions mul- 
tiplied under his hand, an ample stall' 
of curates and scripture-readers took 
their share of labour, and the ener- 
gies of the lay members of the congre- 
gation were called into active exercise. 
To the Grammar School, the Midland 
Institute, the Free Libraries, the 
Hospitals and Charities of the town, 
the Volunteer movement, &c. , he gave 
most assiduous attention, and as long 
as he remained with us, his interest 
in all public matters never failed. In 
the early part of 1866, Dr. Miller uas 



presented to tlie living at Greenwich, 
taking his farewell of the townspeople 
of Birmingham at a meeting in the 
Town Hall, April 21, when substantial 
proof of the public goodwill towards 
him was given by a crowded auiiience 
of all creeds and all classes. A 
handsome service of plate and a 
purse of 600 guineas were pre- 
sented to him, along with addresses 
from the congregation of St, Martin's, 
the Charity Collections Committee, the 
Rifle Volunteers (to whom he had been 
Char)lain), the Committees of the Hos- 
pital--, and from the town at large. The 
farewell sermon to St. Martin's con- 
gregation was preached April 29. In 
1871 Dr. Jliller was appointed residen- 
tial Canon of Worcester, which prefer- 
ment he soon afterwards exchanged for 
a Canonry at Rochester as being nearer 
to his home, other honours also falling 
to him before his death, which took 
place on the night of Sunday, July 11, 
1880. 

GeoTLjc PcaJcc. — The Rev. G. Peake, 
Vicar of Aston, from 1852 to his 
death, July 9, 1876, was a ripe scholar 
and archaeologist, a kind-hearted 
pastor, and an effective preacher. 

Isaiah Birt. — Mr. Isaiah Birt, a 
native of Coleford, undertook the 
pastorship of Cannon Street in 1800, 
holding it until Christmas, 1825, 
when from ill-health he resigned. The 
congregation allowed Mr. Birt an 
annuity of £100 until his death, in 
1837, when he liad reached 80 years of 
age. 

Thomas Folis. — The Rev. Thomas 
Potts, who died in the early part of 
December, 1819, at the age of sixty- 
aud-six, wa^, according to the printed 
funeral oration pronounced at the time, 
"an accurate, profouml, and cautious 
theologian," who had conducted the 
classical studies at Oscott College for 
five-and-tweiity years with vigour and 
enthusiasm, and "a grandeur of ability 
peculiarly his own." 

Sacheveral. — Dr. Sacheveral, the 
noted and noisy worthy who 
kicked up such a rumpus in the days 



SH0WELL8 DICTIONAlir OF BIUMINGIIAM. 



209 



of" Queen Anne, was a native of Sutton 
Coldlield, and his passing throiigli liir- 
niinghani in 1709 was consideretl such 
an event of consequence that the names 
of the fellows who cheered him in the 
streets were reported to Governnitnt. 

Pcrtrcc— Ordained pastor of Cannon 
Street, Aug. 18, 1790. Mr. Pearce, in 
the course of a sliort life, made him- 
self one of the most prominent Baptist 
divines of the day, the church under 
liis charge increasing so rapidly that 
it became the source of great un- 
easiness to tlie deacons, ilr. Pearce 
took great interest in the missionary 
cause, iireaching liere the first sermon 
on behalf of the Baptist JMissiontry 
Societv (Oct., 1792), on which cci;a- 
sioa £70 was handed in ; he also 
volunteered to go lo India himself. 
Suffering from consumption he preached 
his last serjiion Dec. 2, 1798, lingering 
on till the 10th of October following, 
aud liyiiig at the early age of 33. He 
was huriud at the foot of the pul[)it 
stairs. 

Slater. — ^Hutton says tliatan a])othe- 
cary named Siater made himself Rec- 
tor of St. Martin's during the ilays of 
the Commonwealth, and that when the 
authorities came to turn him out he 
hid himself in a dark corner. This i^ 
the individual named in Houghton's 
" History of Rdigiou iu England" as 
being brought before the Court of 
Arches cliar:^ed with liaving forged his 
letters of orders, with preaching ammig 
the Quakers, railing in the pulpit at 
the parishioners, swearing, gambling, 
aud other more scandalous offences. 

Scholcfiehl. — The pastor of the Old 
Meeting Congregation iu 1787 was 
named Scholelield, and he was the 
first to properly organise Sunilay 
Schools in couuectiou with Dissenting 
places of worship. 

Robert Taylor. — The horrible title 
of " The Devil's Chaplain " was given 
tlie Rev. Robert Taylor, B.A. , who iu 
1819-20 was for short periods curate at 
Yardley and at St. Paul's in this tow^n. 
He had been educated for the Churcli, 
and matiiculated well, but adopted 



such Deistical opinions that lie was 
ultimately e.'cpelled the Church, and 
more than once after leaving here was 
inipiisoned for blas|>hemy. 

Charles Vince. — Charles Vince was 
the son of a carpenter, and was a native 
of Surrey, being born at Farnham in 
1823. F'lr some years after leacliing 
manhood Mr. Vince was a Chartist 
lecturer, but was chosen minister of 
Mount Zion Chapel in 1851, aud 
remained with us till Oct. 22, 1874, 
when he was removed to the • world 
above. His death was a loss to the 
whole community, among whom lie 
had none but fi lends. 

John JFebb. — ^The Rev. John Webb, 
who about 1802 was appointed Lee 
tuier at St. Martin's and Minister cf 
St. Bartholomew's was an antiquarian 
scholar of some celebrity ; but was 
specially valued here (though his stay 
was nut lont,') on account of his friend- 
ship with JMendelssohn and Neukomni, 
and for the valued services he rendered 
at ^ everal Festivals. He wrote the Eng- 
lisii adaptation of Winter's " Timoteo," 
or "Triumph of Gideon," per.'ormedat 
the Festival of 1823, and other effec- 
tive pieces beibre and after that 
date, interesting iiimself in the suc- 
cess of the Triennials for many years. 
He died Febiuary IS, 1869, in Here- 
fordshire. 

JFilliam IVollaston. — That eminent 
English divine, tlie Rev. William 
Wollaston, who was born in the neigh- 
bouring county of Stafford, in 1U59, 
was for several years assistant, and 
afterwards head master at our Free 
(Irammar School, but, coming into a 
rii;h inlieritauce, retired. Pie died in 
1724. 

And so the list might go on, with 
such names as the Rev. Charbs Curtis, 
of St. Martin's (1784) the Rev. E. 
Barn, of St. Mary's (1818), the Rev. 
John Cook, of St. Bartholomew's 
(1820\ the Rev. W. F. Hook, of Mose- 
ky (1822), afterwards Dean of Christ- 
church ; Dr. Outratn, of St. Philip's 
(who died in 1821) ; Rann Kenned v, 
of St. Paul's; G. S. Bull, of Sl 



210 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF B1RW1NGHA.M. 



Thoma'-'s ; witb I. C Btriatt, of St 

Mary's, and many otlier clei'gyimii 
and ministers, who have deparnd in 
those Liter years. 

Patents. — The first patent granted 
to a Birmingliani inventor is dared May 
'12, 1722, it being granted to Richard 
Baddeley for having " witli iiiufli 
pains, labour, and expense, invented 
and brought to perfection ' An Art for 
making streaks for binding Cart and 
Wagon Wheels and Box Smoothing 
Irons ' (never yet ]iractised in this our 
kingdom) wliich will be more durable 
and do tliree time.-* the service of those 
made of bar iron." &(;. , &c. It is not 
particularly wonderful that tiio toy- 
shop of England should stand first on 
the list as regards the nnmlter of patent 
grants applied for and taken out. As 
Bisset said — 

InventioiLS curious, various kinds o(" toys, 
Engage the time of women, men, and buy,s ; 
And Royal patents here are found in scores, 
For articles minute— or pond'rons ores. 

By the end of 1799 the list shows that 
92 patents had been granted lo IMr- 
mingham men after Richard Baddeley 
had brought out his "patent streaks," 
and during the present century there 
have been many hundreds of designs 
patented or I'egistereci, scores of for- 
tunes being made and thousands 
of hands employed, but often 
tlie inventors themselves have sold 
their rights for trifling amounts 
or succumbed to tlie dilficulties 
that stood in the way of bringing their 
brainw^ork into practical use. Could 
the records of our Count}' A.sylums lie 
thoroughly inspected, it is to be ieared 
that disappointtd inventors would be 
found more numerous than any other 
class of inmates. The costs of taking 
out, renewing, and i)rotecting patents 
were formerly so enormousas jiractically 
to prevent any great improvements 
where cipital was sliort, and scores of 
our local workers emigrated to America 
and elsewhere for a clearer field where n 
to exercise their inventive faculties 
without being so weighted down by 



patent liws. Tiie Patent Law Amend- 
nteut Act of 1852 was hailed with 
rejoicing, but even the requirements of 
that Act were found much too heavy, 
'file Act which came into force Jan. 1, 
1884, ])roniises to remedy many of the 
evils hitherto existing. By this Act, 
tne fees payable on patents are as fol- 
low : — On application for proviiional 
specification, £1 ; on filing complete 
specification, £3 ; or, on iiling com- 
plete specificitiou with the first 
application, £4. These are all the fees 
up to the date of granting a i)ateut. 
After granting, the following fees are 
payable : B.-fore fotir years from date 
of patent, £50 ; and before the emi of 
eight vears from the date of patent, 
£100. " In lieu of the £50 and the £100 
pajments, the folio iving annual fees 
may be paid : liefore the end of the 
fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh years, 
£10 each year ; before the end of the 
eighth and ninth years, £15 each year ; 
and befoie th ■ end of the tenth, 
eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth years, 
£20 each year. — If the number of words 
contained in the specifications consti- 
tutes the value of a patent, that taken 
out by our townsman, James Hardy 
(Marcli 28, 1844), for au improvement 
in tube-rolling must have been one of 
the most valuable ever known. The 
specifications filled 176 folios, :n addi- 
tion to a large sheet of drawings, tlie 
cost of an " oflrice copy " being no less 
than £12 ISs. ! The Mechanics' Maga- 
zine sail! it could have all been described 
in 176 woids. 

PatPiotie Fund.— The local col- 
lection for this tumi was comuienced 
October, 25, 1854, and closeii February 
22, 1858, with a total of £12,936 
17s. 3d. 

Paving-.— A "patent" was ob- 
tained in 1319, 12th Edw. II., to 
"take toll on all vendible commodi- 
ties for three years, to pave the to-\vu 
(if Birmingham;" and as the funds 
thu-i raised were not snfficient for .such 
a "town improvement," another 
"patent" for the jmrpose was pro- 
cured in 1333, 7Lh Edw. III., the toll 



SHOWKLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



211 



bsiiig fixed at one f-Hrthing on every 
eij^ht bublielb of corn. AVhat the pav- 
ing was in the early part of the present 
'•entury is best told in the ibl lowing 
extract from Bissett's " Magnificent 
Directory," published in ISOO : — 

'J'lie streets are pav'd, 'tis true, but all tlie 

stjiies 
Ars 8i;t the wrong end up, in shape of cones ; 
And strangers limp along the best pav'd 

street, 
As it' parch'd peas were strew'd beneath their 

tV.et, 
Whilst custom makes the Natives scarcely 

feel 
Sharp-pointed jiebbles press the toe or heel. 

About 1819-20 the loadways were 
snoued with the aid of a .steam paviug- 
(iiQ;iue, supplied with a row of six 
iieavy rammers, which dro[>ped ou the 
uaeven stones and drove them into the 
loads, the engine moving about a foot 
;:fter each series of blows. A wood 
roadway was lani in Moor Street in 
April, 1873 ; and in June, 1874, the 
Council decided also so to pave New 
.Street, High Street, and Bull Street. 
At their meeting, June 1876, it was 
resolved to s[)cnd £30,000 a yetr for 
:ix years in paving streets, and they 
liave done all that. 

Pawnbrokers. — In December, 
1789, a Bill was prepared for presenta- 
tion to Parliament "to suppress all 
pawnbrokers within the town." and to 
establish in lieu a general office for 
pledges. Wonder what ottr uncles 
thought of it. 

Peace.— A branch of tlie Work- 
men's Peace Association was formed 
December 18, 1871. 

Pebble Mill Pool.— The last few 

years a f'avouiite spot for suicides, no 
less than tliirty-niue jiersons having 
drowned tliemselvc* there since 1875. 
Strangely enough there was not a single 
similar case in the four years preced- 
ing, and only three cases of accidental 
dro»vnings in tiie last 27 years. 

Peek Lane.— Originally called 
Feck Lane, leading out of New Street, 
next to the Grammar School, was 
closed and cleared for the Railway 



Station. Steep and narrow as the old 
thoroughfare was, it was at one time 
thought quite as much of as Bull 
Strejt. 

Pearls and Pearl Fisheries. —A 

few small pearls are occasionally found 
enclosed in the nacre(or mother-of-pearl) 
of shells cut up fur butt'MJS, &c., but 
seldom of much value, though it is 
related that a few j^c-ars back a pearl 
thus discovered by a workman, and 
handed over to his employer, was sold 
for £40, realising £150 afxTwards. In 
March, 1884, Mr. James Webb, Por- 
Chester Street, hai the good fortune to 
find a p^^arl weighing 31 gr:iins in an 
Australian shell he was cutting up, 
and it has been valued at £100. As 
there i.s a good market here for pearls, 
no doubt many others have been found 
that "have not come to light." A 
few years back, ''pearl fisheries" of 
ra*,heran extraordinary kind v/ere here 
and there to be found in the out.skirts, 
the j'li-iccs of good workable shell hav- 
ing ris n to such an extent that it paid 
to hunt for and dig up the scrap flung 
away in former years, as much as 15s. 
to 20s. per bag being obtained tor some 
of these finds. One smart little mas- 
ter who recollected where his scrap was 
dqiosited some years before, in the 
neighbourhood of St. Luke's, p:iid tiie 
spot a visit, and fiudin^' it still unbudt 
upon, set to work, and carted most of 
it back, and having improved tools, 
mnde a handsome profit by this resur- 
rection movement. — See " Trades." 

Pens. — The question as to who made 
the first steel pen has often been de- 
bated ; but though Perry and Mason, 
Mitchell and Gillo:t, and others 
besides, have been named as the real 
original, it is evident that someone had 
come bv;fore thoni ; for, in a letter 
written at least 200 years back (lately 
jiublislied by the Camden Society), the 
writer, Mary Matton, offered to ])rocure 
some pens made of steel for her brother, 
as "neither the glass pens uor any 
other sort was near so good. " Silver 
pens were advertised for sale in the 



212 



SHOWKLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Morning Chronicle, in June, 17S8, as 
well as " fountain pens ; " ana it lias 
been claimed tliatan Anieiican supplied 
his friends with metallic pens a dozen 
years prior to that date. There was 
a Sheffield artisan, too, before ourlocnl 
men came to the iroiit, who made some 
pens on the principle ot the quill, a 
long hollow birrel, pointed ami split ; 
but they were consitleied more in the 
light of curiosities than for use, and 
fetched prices accordingly. Mr. James 
Perry is said to have given his work- 
men 5s. each for making pens, as late 
as 1824 ; and Mr. Gillott got Is. each 
lor a gross he made on the morning of 
his marriage. In 1835, the lowest 
wholesale price was fis. per gross ; now 
they can be had at a tntle over Id. per 
gross. Even after the introdiictioii of 
presses for the manufacture of steel 
pens (in 1829), there was considerable 
quantities of little machines made here 
for cutting quill pens, the "grey goose 
quill " being in the market for school 
use as late as 1855, and many hankers 
and others have no: yet discarded them. 
In May, 1853, a quantity of machinery 
was sent out to America, where many 
skilled workmen had gone pre- 
viously ; and now our Yankee cousins 
not only make their own pens, and run 
us close in all foreign markets, but 
actually send their productions to Bir- 
mingham itself. — See " Trades." 

People's Hall. — The foundation 
stone of the IV-ople's Hall, corner of 
Loveday andPiincip Streets, was laid on 
Easter Monday, 1841, ly General (then 
Colonel) Perronet Thompson. The cost 
of the building was £2,400, and, as its 
name imjilies, it was intendfd, and lor 
a short time used, as a place for assem- 
blies, balls, and otht-r public purposes. 
Like a number if other "institutions 
for the people," it came to grief, and 
haslong been npthing more than a ware- 
house. 

Pepshore Road was lai.i out in 

1825. 

j Perry BaPP. — Three milesfrom Bir- 
mingham, on the road to Lichfield, is 



one of the ancient places that can 
claim a note iu Domesdaj'. Prior to 
the eighteenth century there had been 
a wooden bridge over the Tame, the 
present curiously-built .stone erection, 
with its recesses to protect the way- 
farers from contact witli ciossing vehi- 
cles, lieing ]iut up in 1711-12 by Sir 
Henry Gou-h, who receiveil £200 from 
the county, and contributions from 
tt e neighbouring paiishes, towards the 
cost. The date oi the early church is 
unknown, the present one being built 
and endowed by Squire Gough in 1832. 
Like other suburbs Perry Barr bids lair 
to become little more than an otl'shoot 
to Birmingham, the road thereto fast 
tilling up with villa and other resi- 
dences, while churches, chapels, and 
schools may be seen on all hands. The 
Literary Institute, built in 1874, at a 
cost of £2,000, contains reading and 
class rooms, lecture hall, &c., while not 
far off is a station on the L. and N.W. 
line. Ferry Hall, the seatoi the Hon. 
A. C. G. Calthorpe, has been the hoire 
of the Lords of the Manor for many 
generations. 

Pest and Plague.— The year 1665 
is generally given as the date of "the 
great plague " being here ; but the 
register of St. Martin's Church doe.s 
not record any extraordinary mortality 
in that year. In some of the " news 
sheets" of the 17tli centuiy a note has 
been met wiih (dated Sept. 28, 1631), 
in which the Justices of the Peace 
inform the Sheriff that "the plague 
had broken out in Deritend, in the 
parish of Aston, and spread far more 
dangerciusly into Birmingham, ag tat 
market town." St. Martin's registers 
of burials are missing from 1631 to 
1655, and those of Aston are not get- 
at-able, and as the latter woula record 
the deaths in Deritend, there does not 
appear any certain data to go upon, 
except that the plague was not a casual 
visitor, having visited Coventry in 
1603 and 1625, Tarn worth in 1606 
and 1625, and Worcester in 1825 and 
1645, the date generally given (1665) 
being that of the year when the most 



SHOWELL d DlCTIONAUr OF BIUMINGUAM, 



213 



deaths 68,596, occurred in London. 
The tradition is that the plague con- 
tagion was brought here in a box of 
clothes conveyed hv a carrier from 
Loudon. It is said that so many 
]'ersons died in this town that the 
churchyard would not hold the bodies, 
and the di-a i were taken to a one-acre 
jiiec •■ of waste land at Ladywood 
Green, hence known for many gener- 
ations as the "PeSD Ground." The 
site has Ijng been built over, Inn no 
t.at^es of any kind of sepulture were 
loaud wiien house foundations were 
being laid. 

Pewter. — To have briglit pewter 
plites and dishes raugid on their 
kitchen shelves was once the delight 
aud the pride of all well-to-do house- 
wives, and even the tables of royalty 
did noc disdain tlie pewter. At the 
giaud dinner on George IV. 's Coroua- 
ti)n-day, thougli gold and silver plate 
was there in abundance for the most 
n')ble of the noble guests, tiie majority 
Were served on brightly-burnished 
p-^vvter, supplied from Thomasou's of 
Birmingham. Tlie niital is seldom 
s.'-n now e.xcept in the shape of cups 
aud measures used by publicans. 

Philanthpopic Collections. — 

Tue following are a few not mentioned 
in previous pages: — A locil fund for 
tlie relief of sufferers by famine in Asia 
Mmor was opened May 6, 1875, the 
amount coUecced being £682. — In 
1875, a little over £1,700 was gathered 
to aid the sutlerers from the inunda- 
tions in France tliat year. — November 
25, 1878, at a meeting held to 
iympathise with the losers through 
tne failure of the Glasgow Bank more 
than £1,000 was subscribed ; £750 
being gathered afterwards. — The 
ilavor's Relief Fund, m the winter-time 
of 1878-79.^ totalled up to £10,2-12, of 
wliich £9,500 Wds expended in relief, 
£537 in expenses, aud the balance 
du'idei between the Hospitdls. The 
liumber of separate gifts or donations 
tv the poor was 500,187, ecjuivalent to 
relieving once 103,630 families. 



Philanthropic Societies.— Are 

as numerous as they are various, and 
the amount of money, and money's 
worth, distributed each year is some- 
thing surprising. The following are 
the princi])il ones : — 

Aged Woiiicii. — A society was com- 
menced here in 1824 for therelief of poor 
women over 60 j'ears of age, aud tiiere 
are now on the books the names of 
nearly 200 who receive, during the 
year, in small amounts, an average of 
17s 10 ISs. each. Miss Southail, 73, 
AVellington Road, is one of the Hon. 
Sees. , who will be pleased to receive 
additional subscriptions. Fifty ociier 
aged women are vearlj' benefitted 
tiirough Fentham's Trust. — See ^^ Blue 
Coat School." 

Arckiteds. — There is a Benevolent 
Society in connection with the Royal 
IisuLute of British Architects, for re- 
lieving poor members of the profession, 
their widows, or orphans. Tne local 
re[iresentative is Mr. F. Cross, 14a, 
Temple Row. 

Aunt Judy's JFurk Society. — On the 
plan of one started in Loudon a few 
years back ; the object being to provide 
clothesfor poorchiidieuin the Hos[)iials 
The secretary is Mrs. W. Lord, liraken- 
dale, Faiqutiar Rond, Eigbastou. 

Bibles, J:c. — Th«. B.rmiugham De- 
positorv of the Biitish aU'l Foreign 
Bibie Society is at 40, Paradise Street ; 
and tiiat ot the Cliristiau Knowledge 
Society is at 92, New Street. 

Boiirding-out Poor Children. — A 
Ladies' Society for Befriending Pauper 
Children liy taking them from the 
Workhouse and boarding them out 
anioug cottagers and others in the 
country, hid been quietly at work for 
some dozen years belore the Marston 
Green Homes were built, but whether 
the latter rule-of-thuinb experiment 
will prove more successful than tliat of 
the ladies, thougu far more costly, the 
coming generation muse decide. 

Boat. men's Friend Society. — A branch 
of the liritish Seamen's and Boatmen s 
Friend Society, principally for the 
supply of leiigioua education to th 



2U 



SHOWBLLS DICnOXARY OF BIRMINGHAM 



boiitmen ami their families on the 
canals, the distribution among t)iera of 
healthy literature, ani the support of 
the work ciirried on at the Boatmen's 
Hill, Worcester Wharf, where the Su- 
perintendent (Rev. R. W. Cusworth) 
may bo found. The subscriptions in 
1882 amounted to £416. 

Ghurch Pantoral Aid Socic'y. — The 
name tells what subscriptions are re- 
quired for, and the Rev. J. G Dixon, 
Rector of St. George's, vn'll bo glad to 
receive them. The grants of the Parent 
Society to Birmingham in 1882 
amounted to £3,560, while the local 
subscriptions were only £1,520. 

Clergymen s indows. — The Society 
for Necessitous Clerg}' within the Arch- 
deaconry of Coventry, whose ofiice 's 
at 10, Cherry Street, has an income 
from subs riptions, &c. , of about £320 
per yeai', which is mainly devoted to 
grants to widows an(i orph;ins of clergy- 
men, with occasional donations to 
disi.bled wearers of tlie cloth. 

Deritend Visitimj and Parochial 
Society, establisheii in 1856. Meeting 
at the Mission Ha 1, Hei'hnull Lane, 
where Sunday Schools, Bible clnsses. 
Mothers' Meetings, &c. , are comhuted. 
The income for 1883 was £185 7s. 4.1., 
and the cxpeinliture £216 16s. 7d. , 
leaving a I'alarce to be raised. 

District Nursing Society, 56, New- 
hall Street, has for its object the nurs- 
ing of sick poor at their own hmnes in 
cases of necessity. In 1883 the num- 
ber of cases attMidfcd I'y the Society's 
nurses was 312, requirii g 8,344 visits. 
Domestic Missions, of one kind and 
another, are coun(cied with all the 
principal places of worship, and it 
would be a difficult task to enumerate 
them. One of the earliest is the 
Hurst Street Unitarian, dating frt'in 
1839. 

Flower Mission. — At No. 3, Great 
Charles Street, ladies attend every 
Friday to receive donation of flowers, 
&c., for liistribution in the wards of 
the Hospit Is, suitable texts and 
passages of Scriviture accompanying 
the gifts to the patients. 



Girls' Friendly Society. — The local 
Branch, of which there are several sub 
(or parochial) branches, has on its 
books near upon 1,400 names of young 
women in service, &c. , whose welfare 
and interests arelookedaTter by a num- 
ber of clergymen and ladies in connec- 
tion with the Church of England. 

Humane Society. — A Branch on the 
plan of the London Society was estab- 
lished here in 1790, but it was found 
bfst to incorporate it with the General 
Hospital in 1803. 

India. — A Branch of the Christian 
Vernacular Eilucation Society for India 
was formed here in 1874. There are 
several branches in this town and 
neighbourhood of the Indian Female 
Normal Scliool and Instruction Society 
for making known the Gospel to the 
wonien of India, and about £600 per 
year is gathered here. 

Iron, Hardware, and Metal Trades' 
Pension Society was commenced in this 
town in 1842. Its head offices are now 
in London ; the local collector being 
Mr. A. Forrest, 32, Union Street. 

Jews and Gentiles. — There are local 
Auxiliary Branclns here of the Ang'o- 
Jewish Association, the Society for 
Promoting Christ ianitj' among tlie 
Jews, and the British Society for Pro- 
pagating the Gospel among Jews, the 
amounts subscribed to each in 1882 
being £72, £223, and £29 repectively. 
Kindness to Animals. — Mainly by 
the influence and efforts of Aliss Julia 
Goddanl, in 1875, a plan w.asstarto.l "f 
giving prizes among the scholars aTid 
pupil teachers of the Board Scluiols for 
the best written papeis tending to pru- 
mo'e kindness to animals. As mativ 
as 3,000 pupils and 60 teach"rs send 
papers in every year, and the di-trihu- 
tion of 500 yirizes is annuall}'^ looked 
forward to with interest. Among the 
prizes are several silver medals — me 
(the champion) being given in niemoi y 
of JMr. Charles Darwin, another iu 
memorvofMr. E. F. Flower, a third 
(given by Mr. J. H. Chamberlain) m 
memory of Mr. George Dawson, anil a 
fourth given by the xVIayor. 



SHOWELL.S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



215 



Ladies' Useful Work Association. — 
Establislieil in 1877 for the iiiculcnting 
habits of thrift ami the improveinent 
of domestic life among mothers of 
families and young people commencing 
married life. A start was mide (Oct. 
4) in the shape of a series of "Cookery 
Lessons," which were excee^lingly well 
attendo i. Series of usslul lectures and 
lessons liave followed since, all beaiing 
on liome life, and as it has been shown 
that nearly one-half of the annual 
number of deaths in Birmingham are 
those of childi'en under 5 years of age, 
it is to be hoped that the "useful 
work " the laiUes of the Association 
have undertaken may be resultive in 
at least decreasing such infantile 
mortalit}'. Office, No. 1, Broad Street 
Corner. In March, 1883, the ladies 
had a balance in hand of £88 

Needlework Guild. — -Another Ladies' 
Association of a similar characier to 
the above was established April 30, 
1883. 

Neiirocs' Friends. — "When slavery 
was as much a British as American in- 
stitution it was not surprising that a 
number of lady residents should form 
themselves, in 1825, into a Negroes' 
Friend Society. The funds now col- 
lected, nearly £170 a year, are given in 
grants to schools on the "West Coast of 
Africa and the "West Indies, and in 
donations to the Freedmen's Aid Society, 
the Anti-Slavery Society, &c. 

Old Folks Tea Party.— In 1857, 
a few old people were given a treat 
just piior 10 Christmas, and the good 
folks who got it up determined to 
repeat it. The next gatherings were 
assembled at the Priory Room^, but in 
a few years it becune needful to en- 
gage the Town Hall, and there tliese 
treats, which are given biennially, are 
periodically held. At the last gatlier- 
ing there attended over 700, not one of 
whom was under sixty years of age, 
while some were long past their three- 
score iiud ten, and a few bordered on 
ninety. The Innds are raised by the 
sale of tickets (to be given by the pur- 
chasers to such old people they think 



deserve it), and by subscriptions, the 
recipients of the treat not only having 
that enjoyment, but also take home 
with tiieni warm clothing and other 
usefuls suite 1 to their time of life. 

Prevention of Cnceltij lo Animals. — 
A Birmingham Society for this pur- 
pose was established in 1852, and 
its officers have frequently been the 
means of punishing inhuman brutes 
who cruelly treated the animals en- 
trusted to thfir care. Cases of this 
kind should be reported to Mr. B. 
Scott, the Society's Secretary, 31, 
IJennett's Hill. In 1882, 125 persons 
were summoned, and 107 of them 
convicted, the year's expenditure being 
£344. 

Relicjious Tract Soeieti/. — • A local 
auxiliary was established here in 1853 
in which year £409 were realised, by the 
sale of book-, tracts, and religious 
periodicals ; in 1863 tliat amount was 
quadrupled ; in 1873 the receipts were 
nearly £2,000. Last year (1883) the 
valuf of the sales r.-ached £2,597, and, 
in addition, there hid been tree grants 
made ot more than 13,000 tracts and 
magazines — the Hospitals, Lunatic 
Asylums, Workhouses, Police Stations, 
Cabmen's Rests, &c., being supplied 
gratuitously. 

i;>^. John Ambulance Association. — 
The jjirmingham Branch of this Asso- 
ciation was organised in 1881, and some 
hundreds of both sexes have since then 
passeil the examination, and obtained 
certificates of their proficiency in am- 
bulance work, and in the treatment of 
ordinary cases of accident cr sudden 
illness. It would be a good thing if 
every man and woman in the town had 
similar knowledge, and would make 
use of it when occasions require (juick 
thought and ready hand. The secre- 
tary is Mr. ,J. K. Patten, 105, Colmore 
Row. 

St. Thomas s Bay Charity. — A very 
old custom in Edgbaston has been the 
collection of donations for a Christ- 
mas distribution to the poor and old of 
the parish. Regular accounts havn 
been booked for over fifty years, but 



216 



SHOWELL.S DICTIOXARY OP BIRMINGHAM. 



how much longer the custom has 
existed is uncertain. At first, money 
only was given, afterwards part was 
given in bread and packets of tea, 
while of later years a stock of about 
fiOO blankets lias been provided for 
lending out. The receipts per year 
are abiut £200. 

True Blues. — In 1805 a number 
ot young men who had been hi ought 
up at the Blue Coat School and who 
called themselves the " Grateful 
Society," united their contributions 
and presented that charity with £52 
]0s. 3d. in gratitude for the benetits 
tiiey had received, a worthy plan which 
was followed for several years. These 
same young men originated the 
"United Society of True Blues" (com- 
posed of members who had been reared 
in the School) for the purpose of form- 
ing a fund for the relief of such of 
their number as might be in distress, 
and further to raise ])eriodical subscrip- 
tions for their old school, part of which 
is yearly expended in prizes among the 
children. 

Philanthropic and Benevolent 

Institutions — J^irmingham cannot 
be Slid ever to have wanted for charit- 
aljle citizens, as the following list of 
philanthropic institutions, societies, 
and trusts will show : — 

Blind Institution, Carpenter Road, 
E<lgbaston. — The first establishment 
ill this town for teaching the blind was 
opened at 113, Broad Street, in March, 
1847, with five boarders and twelve 
<iay pupils. At Midsummer, in the 
fcjilowing j'ear, Islington House was 
taken, with accommodation for thirteen 
resident and twelve day scholars, but 
so well did the public meet tlie wishes 
of the patrons and committee of the 
Institution, that the latter were soon 
in a position to take upon lease a site 
for a permanent building (two acres, at 
£40 a year for 99 years), and on the 
23rd of April, 1S51, the co:ner-stone 
was laid of the present handsome esta- 
blishment near to Church Road, the 
total cost of completion being about 
£7,000. Nearly another £7,000 has 



since been expended in the erection of 
workrooms, master's residence, in fur- 
niture, mus'cal instruments, tools, &c,, 
and the Institution may be considered 
in as flourishing a condition as any in 
the town The 37th annual report (to 
Lady-day, 1884), stated that the num- 
ber of in-door pupils during the past 
year had been 86 — viz., 51 males and 
35 females. In the same period 4 paid 
teachers, 15 out-Joor blind teichers 
and workmen, and 4 females had been 
employeil. The number of adult blind 
residing at their own homes, and visited 
bv the blind teachers engaged in this 
department of the work was 253. The 
total number of persons benefited by 
the institution was therefore 362. The 
financial statement showed that the 
expenditure had been £6,067 2s. 7d., 
of wliich £1,800 had been invested in 
Birmingham Corporation Stock. The 
receii'ts amounted to £6,403 7s. 9d., 
leaving a balance of £336 5s. 2d. in 
the treasurer's hands. The statement 
of receipts and payments on behalf of 
the adult blind iiome-teaching branch, 
which are kept separately, showed a 
balance due to the treasurer of £71 5s. 
9d. 

Bloom<ihiav; Institution. — Commen- 
cing in 1860 with a small school, Mr. 
David Smith has gradually founded at 
Bloomsburj' an institution which com- 
bines editcational, evangelistic, and 
missionary agencies of great value to 
the locality. The premises include a 
mission hall, lecture room, class rooms, 
&c., in addition to Cottage Homes for 
orphan and destitute children, who are 
taught and trained in a manner suited 
to the future intended for them in 
Canada. The expenditure of the In- 
stitution is now about £1,500 a year, 
bat an amount equal to that is wanted 
for enlargement of buildiugs, and other 
philanthropists will do well to call 
upon their brother Smith. 

Children's Day Nursery, The Ter- 
race, Bishojigate Street, was first 
opened in 1870, to take care of the 
children in cases where the mothers, or 
other guardians, have to go to work. 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



217 



About 6,000 of the little ones are 
yearly looke 1 after, at a cost of somo- 
wliat uiuler £200. Parties wishing to 
tlius shelter tlieir children must prove 
the latter'.s legitimacy, ami bring a ro- 
comniendation from employer or some 
one known to the manager. 

Children's Emigration Jlomc^, St. 
Luke's Roid. — Tiiough ranking among 
our public institutions, the pliilan- 
t'lropic movement of picking up the 
human waifs and strays of our dirt}' 
bu'k st^^ets maj' bs said to l.ave 
hiiliTto been almost solely the private 
W'rk of our benevolent townsman, 
Mr. iliddlemore. The first inmate 
received at the Homes (in 1872) was a 
b >y who liad already been in prison 
three times, and the fact that that boy 
is now a prosperous man and the 
vner of a lar-e farm in Canada, 
should be the best of all claims to tha 
sympathy and co operation of tlie 
pulilic in the beneficent work of 
pacing our "Street Arabs" in new 
homes where they will have equal 
chances of getting on in the world. 
The batch of children leaving this 
town (June 11, 1884), comprised 110 
boys and 50 girls, making the total 
number of 912 sent out b}' Mr. Middle- 
more in the twelve years. — In con- 
nection with the Bloomsbury Insti- 
tunon there is also a Children's Home, 
from' which 23 children have been sent 
to Canada, and at which some 30 
others are at present being trained 
rea'ly to go. 

Deaf and Dxonh Inttituiion, Church 
Roid, Edgbaston. — This is the only 
institution of its kindAvithin a radius 
of a hundred mi.es, and was the second 
estaHished in England Its lounder 
was Dr. De Lys, an eminent physician, 
resident here in 1810, in which year a 
society was established for its forma- 
tion. The tirst house occupied was in 
Calthorpe Road (1812), Lord Calthorpe 
giving the use of the premises until 
the erection of the institution in 
Church Road, in 1814. The school, 
at first, would accommodate only a 
score of pupils, but from time to lime 



additi JUS were made, ami in 18.58 the 
whole estab'ishmant was remodelled 
and enlarged, at a cost of £3,000, so 
that now there is room for 120. Tlie 
number on the books at Midsummi-r, 
1883, was 109—64 boys and 45 girls. 
The year's receipt's amounted to 
£3,1 .02 12-. 4d. . and the expenditure 
to £2.982 12s. 8d. The children, who 
are elected at the annual meeting of 
subscvib-rs in September, are received 
from all parts of the kingdo'U, but 
must no: bs under eiirht or over thir- 
teen years of age. Subscribers of a 
guinei have the right of voting at the 
elections, and the committee have 
also power to admit children, on an 
annual payment of £25. The parents 
or guardians of the elected candidates, 
must pav £6 per year towards 
clothing, kc. Tlie offi'^e of the Secre- 
tary is at City Chambers, 82 New 
Street. 

Friendless Girls. — The Ladies' As- 
socii;i)ii (established 1878) for the 
recovery of girls who have given way 
to temptation for a short time, or who 
have been convicted of a fir.it oll'ence, 
has been the means of rescuing many 
from the streets and from a life of 
crime. The Home is in Spring Road, 
and ilrs. Pike, Sir Harry's Road, is 
the treasurer, to whom contributions 
can b^ sent ; and that they will be 
welcome is shown by the I'act that 
there is a balance at present against 
the Institution's funds. 

Girls' Home, Bath Row, established 
in 1851, to provide shelter for young 
women of good charactei', when out of 
situations. A free registiy is kept, 
and over 300 girls avail themselves of 
the Home every year. 

Girls' Training Institution. George 
Road, Edgbas'on, was opene I in 1862, 
to prepare young girls from twelve to 
fifteen, for domestic service. 

Industrial and Reformatory Schools. 
— Gem Street Industrial School, for 
the re.:over}' of boys who had b''gan a 
life of c-ime, was opened in 1850, and 
at the close of 1883 it contained 149 
boys, under the charge of nine ofRcera. 



218 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



According to the report of Her Ma- 
jesty's Inspector, the boys cost 7s. 8J. 
per head per week, but tliire was an 
iiuhiscrial profit ef £601 lis. 4d , 
£309 Os. lid. having been received I'or 
hire of boys' liboiir. The Treasury 
paid £1,350 14s., therates no less than 
£1,007 18s. lid., and subsc.iptions 
brought in £83 13s. Of 125diseharges, 
only 40 per cent, were reported to be 
doing well, 4 per cent, convicted, 16 
per ctnt. doubtful, and as many as 40 
per cent, nnknown. — Peiin Street 
School, an establishment of a similar 
character, was certified in Jan., 1863. 
There were 60 boys and 5 officers. The 
boys cost only 5s. 6d. par head per 
week. The school received £673 16s. 
lid. from the Treasury, £275 Os. lOd. 
Ironi the rates, £93 2s. from sub^crip- 
lions, and £100 9s. 3d. front tlie hire 
of boy labour. There is an industrial 
profit of £136 193. lid. Of 37 dis- 
charges 70 per cent, are said to be doing 
well, 6 per cent, to be re-convicted, 3 
per cent, dead, and 21 per cent, un- 
known. — At Shustoke School, eertilied 
in February, 1868, there were 130 
boys, under 11 officer.s. Tiie Itoys cost 
6s. 8d. per he*d per week. £1,580 
I7s. lid had been le^eived from the 
Treasury ; £1,741 16s. from the laieF, 
of which, however, £1,100 liad been 
snenc in building, &c. ; industrial 
profit, £109 3s. 7d. Of 27 discharges 
74 per cent, were reported to be doing 
well, 18 per cent, to be convicted, 4 
per cent, to be doubtful, and 4 per 
cent, to be unknown. — Saltley Reforma- 
tory was established ir. 1852. There 
were 91 boys under deteniion and 16 
on license at the time of the inspector's 
visit ; 9 officers. Tiiis school received 
£1,371 14s. 3d. from the Treasury, 
£254 lys. Id. from the rates, and £99 
16s. 6ii. from subscriptions. The boys 
cost 6s 8d. per head per week, and 
there was £117 9s. lOd. industrial 
profit, representing the produce of 
their laoour. Of 74 boys discharged 
in 1879-81, 69 per cent are reported to 
be doing well, 19 per cent, to be re- 
convicted, and 12 per cent, unknown. 



— At Stoke Farm Reformatory, estal)- 
lished in 1853, there were 78 boys 
under detention, in charge of 10 ofii- 
Ct;rs ; and 19 on license. Stoke received 
£1,182 19s. 8d. from the Treisury, 
£102 17s. 6d. from the rates, and £100 
from subscriptions. The boys cost 
6s. lid. per head per week, and therj 
was an industrial profit of £18 14s. llil. 
Of 62 boys discharged in 1879-81, 76 
per cent, were reported to by doiny; 
well, 16 pel cent, to be convicteil of 
crime, 5 per cent doubtful, 1^ per 
cent, dead, 1^ per cent, unknown. 

Licensed Victuallers Asylum, Bristol 
Road, founded in 1848, to receive and 
maintain for life distressed members of 
the tra<le and their wives or widows. — 
The Secretary is Mr. H. C. Edwards, 
The Quadrant, New Street. — See. 
" Trade Societies.^' 

Little Sisters' Home. — Founded iu 
1864, by three French and two English 
members of the Catholic "Order of 
Little Sisters of the Poor," the first 
home being at one of tlie large houses 
in the Crescent, where they sheltered, 
fed, and clothed about 80 aged "r 
broken-down men and women. In 
1874 the Sisters removed to tiieir pre- 
sent establishment, at Harborne, where 
they minister to nsarly double the 
number. The whole of this larg'i 
family are provide.! for out of the 
scrafis and odds-and-ends gathered by 
the Sisters from private hoLises, shoi>s, 
hotels, restaurants, and bars of the 
town, the smallest scraps of mateiial 
crusts of b-ead, remains of meat, even 
to cigar ends, all btiug acceptable to 
the black robed ladies oi' charity daily 
seen in the town on their errand "f 
mercy. Though essenti^iUy a Catholic 
institution, the "Little Sistei-s" l)e- 
stow their charity irrespective of creed, 
Protestants being admitted and allowed 
freely to follow their own religious 
notions, the only preference made 
being in favour of the most aged and 
destitute. 

Magdalen Asylum andRefuge. — First 
established in 1828, the cliapel in 
Bioad Street being opened in 1S39. 



SlIOWELLS DIL'TIONARY OK BIKMINGHAii. 



219 



Rumove I to Ciareiuloii RoaJ, E'lsj- 
baston, iu 1860. Tliere ■iv'^ usually 
fro'ii 35 to 40 inmates, whoss Inbour 
provide-t for great part of the yearly 
exp'Miditure ; and ic is well thnt it is 
so, for the subscriptions and donations 
from the public are not sent in so 
freely as could be wished. The trea- 
surer is Mr. S. S. Lloyd. 

Medical MiRxion.. — Opened in Fiooil- 
gate Street, Deritend, in 1875. Whila 
resemblin;? other medical charities for 
the relief of bodih- sickness, this 
mission has for its chief aim the teadi- 
ing of the Gosp 4 to ilie sick poor, and 
in every house that may be visited. 
That the more wnr'dly j)art of the 
mission is not necjlected is shown hy 
the fact that the expenditure for the 
year emling Michaelmas, 1S8.3. readied 
£64:3. 

ynjh' R'fagcfi.—'SU. A. V. F')rdyee, 
in July, 1880, opened a night asylum 
in Princess Road, for the shelter of 
homeless and destitute boys, who were 
supplied with bed and breakfast. The 
necessity for such an institution was 
soon made apparent hy larger jiremises 
being require I, and the old police sta- 
tion, corner of Bradford Street and 
Alci'Ster Street, was taken. This has 
been turneil into a "Home," and it is 
never short of occupants, other pre- 
mises being opened in 1883, close to 
Deritend Bridge, for the casual night- 
birds, the most promising of whom are 
transferred to the Home after a few 
days' testins.'. A samewliat similar 
Refuge for Girls has also been estab- 
lished, and if j)roperIy snpnorted by 
the public, tlie-e institutions must 
result in much good. 

Nurses. — The Birmingham and .Mid- 
land Counties' Training Institution 'or 
Nnr.ses, organised in 1868, has its 
"Home" in the Crescent. It was 
founded f >r the purpise of bringing 
skilled nursing to the homes of tlio-e 
who would otherwise be unab'e to 
obtain intelligent aid in carrying out 
the instructions of their medical at- 
tendants. The sub criptioii li>t for 
1882 ar/iounted to £282 Is., and the 



sum to the credit of the nur.ses' pension 
fund to £525 \<. Tiio committee 
earnestly appeal for increased support, 
to enable them to extend the work of 
the institution, from wliich at present 
tlie services of four nurses are granted 
to the District Xursing Society. New- 
hail Street, lor attendance on the sick 
jioor. The staff included 66 trained 
nur es, wiili 18 probitiouers, tlie latter 
passing for their trainii.g through the 
General, Chiidren'.s, and Homeoojiathic 
Ho.spitals. The nursas from the 
" Hoine " a' tend on an average over 
500 families in the year, those from 
the District Society conferring their 
s^-rvices on nearly 200 other fimilies. 

Protestant Dissenting Cliarity School, 
Graham Street. — -This is one of thw 
oldest of our philanthrojiical inst - 
tutions, having been established in 
1760 — the ftrsr general meetint; of suli- 
Kcrib^is being h"ld June 22, 1761. The 
first house taken for the purposes of 
the charity was in New jMeeting Street, 
and both hoys and girls were admitted, 
but since 1313 only girls have receivetl 
its benefits. Tna-e are taken from 
an}' locali'v, and of any Protestant 
deiiominauoii, being hou-ed, fed, 
clothed, educated and trained for 
domestic servants. There are usually 
about 45 to 48 inmates, t'la cost per 
c*iild averaging in 1883 (tor 56 girls) 
nearly £20 per liead. At the centenary 
in 1861 a fund of nenrly £1,500 was 
raised by imldic subscription in aid of 
the institution, wliicli has but a .smill 
income from investments. Subscribers 
of a guinea per year liave the right 
of nominating and voting for the ad- 
missi'm of one child everj'- yeu'. The 
present home in Graham Street was 
erected in 1839, and application should 
be made to the matron for iu for. nation 
or for serv nt giils. 

Sanatorium, situat-'d at Blaidcvve'l, 
near B)'omsgroV3. — This establi.-^h- 
ment, whicli cost £15,750, of which 
£2,000 was given by Miss Ryland, was 
built to provide a temporary home, 
with pure ai'', rest, and nourishing 
diet for convalescent patients, who 



2-20 



SnOWELT/S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



otherwise might have had to pine 
away in the close-built quarters of 
this and neighbouriiiEj towns. The 
buiLIiiigs, which will accommodate 
sixty persons, were opened April 16, 
1873, and take the place of a smaller 
establishment to whioli ^Miss Ryland 
hid devoted for some j'ears a house 
at Sparkbrook. The average number 
of inmates is put at fifty, and the 
number who pissed through the house 
in 1883 was 1,052. tlie expendiuire for 
The year being £1,780 8s. The in- 
come was derived from annual sub- 
i-criptions, £901 10s. ; special sub- 
scription.s, £347 lis. 6d. ; paid by 
hospitals for maintenance of patients, 
£192 6s. ; grant from the General 
Hospital, £26 5s. ; share of Hospital 
Siturdaj' collection, £211 Os. 4d. 
The Secretary, from whom all infor- 
mation can be received as to terms of 
special and other tickets, is Mr. E. J. 
Bigwoo 1, 3, Temple Row West. 

Servants' Home and Training Insti- 
tution, establislied in 1860, finds 
shelter for ^ time to as many as 210 
young women in tiie course of a year, 
many looking upon it as the only home 
they have when out of a situation. 
In connection with it is a "training 
S'diool" and laundrj', where a score or 
more girls are taught. Bo'.h parts of 
the institution pay thoir way, receipts 
and expenditure (£180 and £350 re- 
spectively) generally balancing. The 
Servants' Home is at 30, Bith Row, 
where there is a Registry for servants, 
and also for sick and mouthlj' nurses. 

Town Slission — Established in 1837, 
and re-modelled in 1850. This insti- 
tution seeks work in a variety of ways, 
its agents visiting the homes of the 
]ioor, the wards of the Hospitals, the 
it'dging-houses, and even the bedsides 
of the patients in the smallpox and 
fever hospitals. In addition to the 
providing and looking after the " Cab- 
men's Rtists," of which there are six- 
teen in the town, the Mission employs 
a Scripture reader specially to deal 
with the deaf and dumb members of 
the community, about 200 in number. 



At the Noel Road R-sfuge (op-^ned in 
1859) about 40 inmates are received 
yearly, and at Tindal House (opened 
in 1864) about half that number, the 
two institutions having (to end of 
1883) sheltered 1,331 females, of whom 
nearly a thousand have boen brought 
back to moral and industrious habits. 
The income of the Society for 1883 wis 
£1,690 17s. 3d., the expenditure beiug 
a little over that amount, though the 
laundries connected with the Refuges 
more than pay their wa}''. The office 
is at tlie Educational Chambers, 90, 
New Street. 

Young Mens Cliristian Association. 
— Instituted in 1849 ; incorp u-ated in 
1873. For many years its meetings 
were held at tlie Clarendon Chambers, 
but when th? notorious " Sultan 
Divan" was closed in Needless Alley, 
it was taken for the purposes of this 
institution, the most appropriate 
change of tenancy that could possibly 
be desired, the attractions of the glar- 
ing dancing-rooms and low-lived racket 
giving place to comfortable reading- 
rooms, a cosy library, and healthy 
amusements. Young men of all creeds 
may here find a welcome, and strangers 
to the town will meet friends to guide 
them in choice of companions, or in 
securing eorafortalile homes. — A simi- 
lar Association is that of the Church of 
England Y.MC.A., at 30, Paradise 
StrciPt, which was commenced in 1849, 
and numbers several hundred members. 
—At a Conf.'reiice held Nov. 24, 1880, 
it was iJecided to form a Midlami Dis- 
trict Union of Y. M. C A. s in this and 
the surrounding counties. 

Young IVomen's Christian Associa- 
tion, 3, Great Charles Street. — The 
idea of forming an institute for young 
women was first mooted iu 1874, a 
house being taken for the purpose in 
C dmore R av in 1876, but it was re- 
moved to Great Charles Street in 1882, 
where lodgings maj' be obtained for 
2s. 6d. a week. From re'urns sent in 
from various branches in connection 
with the As-ociation, it would appear 
that the nnmbar of members in Bir- 



SHOWKLLS l>l(JT10NAUr 01*' lilUMINGUAM. 



221 



iningluiin was 1,500, wliicli si3"s iiiuch 
for its populHiitv aiiioug the class it 
was inteiideil t'j benetit. 

Philanthpopie Trust Funds.— 

That our prcutcv-sors lurgot not 
charity is well proved, though some of 
the " Trusts " read, strangely iu these 
days. 

Apprenticing Poor Boys. — A favourite 
bequest iu past days was the leaving of 
funds for apprenticing poor lads to 
useful trades, and when workmeii were 
so scarce and valuable that the strong 
arm of the law was brought in to 
prevent their emigrating or removing, 
doub'.less it w^is a useful charity 
enough. Now-a-days the mujorilj' of 
masters do not care about the small 
premiums usually paid out of these 
trusts, and several such charities have 
been lost sight of or become amal- 
gamated with otheis. The funds, how- 
ever, left by George Jackson, 1696, and 
by Richard Scotr, 1634, are still in the 
hands of trustees, and to those whom 
it may concern, Mes!!r>. Horlon and 
Lee, Newhall street, solicitor- to both 
trusts, will give all needful informa- 
tion. 

Banner's CJuiri'y. — Rich ird and 
Samuel Banner, iu 1716, left some 
land at Erding:ou, towards providing 
clothing for two old widows and half- 
a-dozen old men, the balance, if any, 
to be used in apprenticing poor boys iu 
Birmingham, 

Biulley Trust.— 'Slv. William Dud- 
ley, at his decease in 1876 left 
£100,000 on trust for the purpose of 
assisting young tradesmen commeucing 
business on their own account, to re- 
lieve aged tradesmen of the town who 
had not succeeded iu life, and lastly to 
beuefit the charities of the town. 
The rules requiie that applicants must 
be under fifty j^ears ot age ; that they 
must reside within the limits of the 
borough ; that they nuist not have 
been set up iu businebs more than 
three years ; that they must give 
satisfactory proof of their honesty, 
sobriety, and industry ; and that they 
must give satislactory security to the 



Trusiets, either personal, viz., by boa I 
with two or more sureties [each surety 
must give two or three reference.s], o;- 
upon freehold, copyhold, or lea.'-ehold 
propertie.s. All these (ondiuiiis being 
satisfactorily met, the loans, which will 
be made Iree of cost, will bear interest 
at 2^ per cent, per annum, paj'able 
half-yearly, and must be repaid within 
live year.^, and if the monej' is wanted 
for more than two years, repaymeuis 
by in.ital'.uents must then cumnience. 
The benefactions to aged persons take 
the shape of grants, annual or other- 
wise, not exceeding £20 in any one 
year, in favour of persons who fulfil 
the following requirements: They must 
be of the age of sixty years at least, 
they must have been tradesmen within 
the limits of the borough ; and they 
must i'e able to show* to the satisfaction 
of the Trustees that they are of good 
character and need assistant e, and that 
they have not received auy parochial 
relief. The Tru.stees have made several 
large grants to charitible institutions. 
Offices : 20, Temjde Row. 

Fentlmm's Charity. — In 1712 George 
Fenthatu left about one hundred acres 
of land iu Handsworth and Erdingtou 
Parishes, in trust, to teach poor chil- 
dreu to read, and to clothe poor 
widows. The projierty, when devised, 
was worth £20 per year. At the end 
of the century it was valued at £100 
per year ; and it now brings iu nearly 
£460. Til- twentr children receiving 
the benefits of this chanty are ad- 
mitted to the Blue Cuat School, and 
are distinguished by their dress of 
dark green. Some filty widows yearly 
share in the clothing gifts. 

Food and Clothing. — John Crowley, 
in 1709, bequeathed an annuity o 20s. 
chargeable on propeity iu the Lower 
Priory, to be expended in '• sixpenny 
bread " for the poor at Christmas. — 
Some Luid at Sutton Coldfield was left, 
in 1681, by John Hoj^kius, to provide 
clothing and food lor tlie poor of St. 
Martin's. — Palmer's Charity, 1867, finds 
about £40 per annum, which is dis- 
tributed among eighty rccipieuts 



222 



SKO^\'ELL's DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



^.elected bj' the Town Council, the 
majority being poor oW wonieu, who 
go fur their doles Dec. 12th. ^la addi- 
tion to the above theic have been a 
number of minor charities left to the 
chureliwaidens (or providing food and 
idothiug wliich have either been Lj.st 
sight of, or mixed up with otliers, some 
dating as far back as 1629-30. 

George Hill's Charity is now of the 
value of nearly £5,000, bringing in 
about £120 yearly. Of tliis 52s. goes 
to the churchwardens of the parish 
churcii to provi'ie bread for the most, 
necessitous and aged poor ; 20s. io_ the 
incumbent of Deritemi, and the residue 
in pensions of not more than £20 to 
decayed schoolnia>ters and school- 
mistresses. 

Holliers Charity was devised ia 
1789, the land now known as Higii- 
gite Park (oiiginally 10 acres) being 
left to clothe, aunuallv, twenty poor 
persons, twelve from Birmingham and 
eight from Aston. The purchase 
money paid by the Cor[.oration has 
bei-n invested, and, under the direction 
of thy Chari.y Commi.^^ioners, the in- 
come of this cliaruy is appropriated 
thus :— £50 for clothing for twelve 
poor men or women of iiirniingham, 
and eight di:to of Aston ; £25 for re- 
lieving deserving and necessitous per- 
sons (Uscbarged fium Borough Lunatic 
Asylum ; £150 to the Dispensaries of 
Hirniingham and Aston ; £25 each to 
the Children's Hospital and the Sana- 
torium ; and tlie remainder to the 
<j>;neral Hospital. 

James's Trust, of 1869, which 
realises about £1,000 per year, was 
left to provide homes and pensions tor 
deserving widows and others ; five 
annuities for poor and decayed gentle- 
women ; and a scholarship at the 
Gi'animar School The Secretary is 
tlie Vicar of St. Clement's, Nechelis. 

Kylcup2KS Charily.— ^i'^t. 19, 1611. 
Richard Kjdcuppe devised certain land 
at Sparkbrook lor charitable purposes, 
the income of which is now handed to 
the General Hospital and General Dis- 



pensary, as nearly as possible following 
the testator's wishes. 

Lench's Trust, which dates from 
1539, is one of the most important 
charitirs of the town, and has an in- 
come of over £3,000 a year at present. 
The original ohjeets of the trust were 
repairing the streets of the town and 
relief to the poor. From time to time 
other charities have been incorporated, 
and th.e funds administered with those 
of Lench's Trust. Among these are 
the "Bell Rope" fund for purchasing 
ropes for S:. Martin's Beltry, the donor 
of which is not known ; Colmore's 
Charity, dating from 1565, for reliev- 
ino- the poor and repairing streets ; 
Redhill's and Shilton's (about 1520), 
for like purposes ; Kylcuppe's 1610, 
lor the poor, and a small sum towards 
repairing the church ; Vesey's 1583, 
known as the " Loveday Crofr " gilt ; 
Ward's 1573, and Wrexam's, 1568, 
both for gifts to the poor on Good 
Friday ; Ann Scott's, 1808, providing 
small amoimts to be given to the in- 
nuteo of the Almshouses, &c. The 
Trust now maintains four sets of alms- 
hnises (Conybere Street, Hospital 
Street, Ravenhurst Street, and L^idy- 
wood) accotnniodating 18i inmates, all 
women, who receive 5s. a week each, 
with tiring, medical advice and medi- 
cines wiien necessary, and sundry other 
small comforts beloved by old grannies. 
The solicito.'s to the Trust are Messrs, 
Horton a d Lee, Newha'.l Street 
The income of Lench's Tiust for the 
year 1883 amounted to £3,321 10s., of 
whicii £1,825 14s. went to the aluis- 
women, £749 Is. 8d. for matrons, 
doctors, and expenses at the alms- 
houses, £437 9s. 4d. for repairs, in- 
surance, rates, and taxes, and £309 5s. 
for clerks, collectors, auditors, law and 
surveyor's charges, piinting, &c. 

j\lilicards Charity. — John Milward 
in 1654 left property then Avorth £26 
per annum and the Red Lion public- 
house (worth another £26, but which 
could never be traced out), to be de- 
vided between the governors of the 
Free Grammar Schools of Birmingliam 



SHOWJiLL S DICTlONfAUY OF lUltM IXGII AM. 



223 



and Haverfonnvest and Brazeiiiiose 
College, for the support ai the ssid 
coilegt) of one student Irom tiie al).)\'(i 
f-chools iu rotation. The Red Liou 
having been .swadowed up at a gulp, 
the other ]n'operty would appear to 
have bef-u kept as a nibbling-cike, for 
till tli'5 Ciiarity Comnii.s.siouer.s visited 
liere in 1827 no .scholar liad ever been 
-sent to ccdlege by Us means. The 
rulways and canals hive taken mo it 
of the property of this trust, thy in- 
vested capital ari.sing from the sales 
bringing in now about £650 per year, 
which is divided between the two 
schods ami the collogo above named, 
tlie Biruiingiiain portion being suf- 
ficient to piy for two scholar.-liips 
yearly. 

The Nichol Charity provruies for the 
distribution o\ bread and coali to 
A);out 100 [»eople on Neu' Year's Day, 
by the vicar and cluuchwardens of 
rit. David's. 

Old Maids and Widows. — Vbout 
£40 per year are dii'idcd by the Rector 
and Churchwardens of St. I'liilip's 
auiongstten old niaiils "or single, women 
of virtuous character," and twelve poor 
widows attending divine service there, 
the invested money arisii:g fiom Shel- 
don's Charity, 1826, and Wilkinson's 
Cuarity, 1830. — Tliomas Pargeter (of 
Foxcote) iu 1S67, left money in trust, 
to provide annuities of .-£20 each, to 
unmarried ladies of fifty-five or UKjre, 
})ro essing Unitarianism, and ahout 
100 are now reapinj; the fiuit of his 
charity. Mo-sr.-5. Harding and Son, 
Wateiloo Street, are the solicitors. 

Piddiick's Trust, for putting poor 
boys cut aj>preutice, was devised in 
1728, the i)ropercy consisting of a 
farm at Winson Green. By direction 
of the Court of Chancery, the income 
i-i now diri'ied, £70 to Gem Street 
Free Industrial School, and £20 to the 
British Schoal, Severn Street. The 
I rustees include the Mayor, the 
Rectors of St. Martin's, St. Philip's, 
iSr. Thomas's, St. George's, several 
Nonconformist ministers, and the 
Registrar of the Society of Friends. 



Frcachiiig Sermont. — By Silu-ibury's 
Chirity, 1726, the R-ctors of Sr. Mar- 
tin's aiid St. Philip's are entit ed to 
the sum of 15 >. to preach serin ins once 
aycrir for the benelit of the Bkn Cjat 
Schojl — Ingram's Charity, 1818, con- 
sisting of the yearly interest of £500 
4 par cent. India Scovk, was intendjd 
to insure the preadiiiig of a i annual 
sennoa ou the subject of kin liiess to 
aiiiniils (especially to the horse) by a 
lical clergyman of the Esta'dished 
C'lurch, but the Governors of King 
E i'.v.irl's S(dio>!, w'ao are the trustees, 
have obtained the sanction of the 
CliMrity Coinmissinier.-. to a scheme 
under which sermons on kiu'iness to 
animil-- may take the form of one or 
more free lectures on the kiod tr^at- 
niont of animals, and especially cd' the 
horse, to be delivered in an}- place of 
public worship, or other building or 
room ap[)roved bj' the triustees, and not 
neces-iarily, as heretofore, by a clergy- 
nia'i of the Established Churjh, and in 
a c!iurch. 

ScrijJture Reading.— In 1853 Ad- 
niiril Da(f left a sum of money, wdiich 
brings in abjut £15 per year, for the 
maintenance of a Scripture Rjaler for 
the town of Birininghain. Tne trustee 
of this lund is ihi' Aliyor for the time 
being, and the Scripture Reader may 
hi heard of at tlie Town Clerk's office. 

The Whitiiagham Oharily , distri- 
buted at St James '.s, Aslited, in ^larch, 
furnishes gifts to about eighty poor 
people (principally widows), who re- 
ceive b'ankets, sheets, quilts, flannel, 
&c., in addition to breatl and coal. 

Philosophical Society. A so- 
ciety with this name Wiis formed in 
1794, for the promulgation of scientific 
principles among mechanics. Its nteet- 
ings wer ■ held in an old warehouse in 
the Coach Yard, and from the I'act 
that many workmen from the Eagle 
Foundry attended the lectures, deli- 
vered mainly by Mr. Thomas Clarke, 
the tnembers acquired the name of "the 
cast-iron philosophers." Another so- 
ciety was formed iu 1800, for the difTn- 
siou of scientific knowledge amongst the 



224 



SHUWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



middle and liiglier classes, and by the 
year 1814 it was j^ossessed of a hand- 
some Lertnre Theatre, a lartre ^Iiiseuiii, 
with good collections of fossils and 
minerals, a Library, Reaiiiut? Room, 
&c., in Ciinnou Street. Like many 
other useful iustitutious of former 
days, the jihilosophical has had to i,'ive 
way to the realistic, its libiary of dead 
men's writings, and its fossils of the 
ancient world, vanishing in face of the 
reporters of to-day's doings, the ubiqui- 
tous thiobs of the "Walter" and 
"Hoe" steam presses resounding 
where erst the voice of Science in 
chronicling the past iorLshadowed the 
future. 

PillOPy.— This ancient machine for 
the iniuishment of prigs formerly stood 
in Hi"h Street. The last time it was 
used wa.s in 1813. We pillory people 
in print now, and pelt them with pen 
and ink. The Act for abolishing this 
method of punishment was not i)assed 
until June 30, 1837. What became of 
the pillcry here is not known, hut 
there is, or was lately, a renovated 
specimen of the article at Coleshill. 

Pinfold Street takts its name 
from the " pound " or " pinfold " that 
existed there prior to 1752. There 
used to be another of these receptacles 
for straying animals near to the I'lough 
and Harrow in Haglev Road, and a 
small corner of Sniithfield was railed 
off for the like purpose when the 
Cattle market was there established. 
The "Jacob Wilsons" of a i)revious 
date held a field under the Lords of 
the Manor wherein to graze thtir cap- 
tured catt e, but one of the Town 
Criers mortgaged it, and his successors 
lost their riyht to the land which was 
somewhere about Caroline Street. 

Places of Wovshi\).—i:sUillished 

Church.— In 1620 tliere were 358 
churches in Warwickshire, 130 in 
Stallbrdshire, and 150 in Worcester- 
shire ; but Sr. Martin's, Edgbaston, 
Aston, Deri tend, and Handsworth, 
churches were all that Birmingham 
could boast of at the beginning of last 



century, and the number had not been 
increased to a very large extent even 
by tlie year 1800. As will be seen from 
the dates given in following page-', 
however, there was a goodly number 
of churciie.s erected in the first half of 
this century, about the end of which 
period a "Church extension" move- 
ment was set on foot. Tlie success 
was so apparent tliat a society was 
formed (Jan., 1865), and in March, 
1867, it was resolveil lo raise a fund of 
£50,000, for the jiurpose of at once 
erecting eight other new churches in 
the hoiough. Miss Ryland heading the 
list of clonations witli the munificent 
gift of £10,000. It is difficult to 
arrive at the amount expended on 
ciiurches previous to 1840, but the an- 
nexed list of churches, built, enlarged, 
or repaired in this neighbourhood from 
1810 to 1875, will give an approximate 
idea of the large sums tlias invested, 
the whole of which was raised solely by 
voluntary contributions. 

Acock'sGreen ... ... £6,405 

Aston Brook 5,000 

Balsall Heath 8,500 

Bishop Ryder's .. .. 886 

Christ Church 1,000 

Christ Church, Sparkbrook 9,163 

Edghaston 2,200 

Hay Mills 6,500 

Immanuel ... ... ... 4,600 

King's Heath 3,900 

King's Nurton . ... 5,092 

Moseley 2,491 

Saltley 7,139 

St. Alban's 2,800 

St. Andrew'.- 4,500 

St, Anne's 2,700 

St. Anne's, Moseley ... 7,500 

St. Asaph's 7,700 

St. Augustine's 7,800 

St. Barnabas' 3,500 

St. Bartholomew's ... 1,260 

St. Clement's 3,925 

St. Cuthbert's 5,000 

St. David's 6,185 

St. Gabritl's 4,307 

St. George's Edgbaston ... 1,583 

St. James's Edgbaston ... 6,000 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMIXGIIAM. 



225 



St. John's, LidywooJ ... 7,200 

St. Luvieuce's 4,380 

St. Lnke'- 6,286 

St. Maiiiu's 30,13-t 

St. Matthew's 4,850 

St. Matthias's 5,361 

St. Mary's 4,503 

St. Mary's, Sclly Oak ... 5,400 

St. Nieliolas' 4,288 

St. Paul's ■ 1,400 

St. Philip's Q,9S7 

St. Saviour's 5,273 

St. Silas's 4,677 

St. Stephen's 3,200 

St. Stephen'.s, Selly Oak... 3,771 

To ihe above tocal of £228,336 ex- 
peudo'l on clm;'ches in or close to the 
borough, there should be added £57,640 
expended in the erection, &c. , of 
churches close at hand in the a^ij lining 
diocese of Lichfield ; £25,000 laid out 
at Coleshill, Nortlifield, and Solihull 
(the principal residents being from 
Binninghaui) ; and a still further sum 
of £150,000 spent on Church-school 
buildings. These figures e^'en do not 
include the vast amounts invested for 
the endowments of the several churches 
and schools, nor is aught reckoned for 
the value of the land or building ma- 
terials where given, nor for the orna- 
mental decorations, fonts, pulpits, 
■windows, and farnishings so munifi- 
cently lavished on our local churches. 
Since the year 1875 il: has been calcu- 
lated that more than £100,000 has been 
devote 1 to similar Jocalchurch-buiidiug 
purpo.ses, frO that in less than fifty years 
much more than halfa-nallioa sterling 
has been voluntarily subscribed by the 
Churchmen of tlie neighbourhood for 
the religious welfare and benefit of their 
fellow men. Still there is loom for 
more churches and for more preachers, 
and the Church Extension Society are 
hoping that others will follow the ex- 
ample of the "Landowner," who, in 
the early jiart of the year (1884) placed 
£10,000 in the hands of the Bishop 
towards meeting the urgent need of 
additional provision fur the spiritual 
wants of the inhabitants. — Short notes 



of the several churches can alone be 
given. 

All Saints', in the street of that 
name, leading out of Lodge Road, is a 
brick erection of fifty \ ears' date, lie- 
ing consecrated September 28, 1833. 
It was built to acconimodite about 700 
and cost £3,850, but in 1881 it was 
enlarged and otherwise improved at an • 
outlay of over £1,500, and now finds 
sittiiigs for 1,760, a thousand of the 
seats being free. The E-^v. P. E. 
Wilson, JI.A., is the Rector and 
Surrogate, and the living (value £400) 
is in the gift of the BirminghaniTrust, 
The Nineveh schoo:room is used for 
services on Sunday and Thursday 
evenings in connection with All 
Saints. 

All Saints', King's Heith, is built 
of scone in the perpendicular Gothic 
styl3, and cost £3,200, the consecra- 
tion taking place on Apiil 27ih, 1860. 
There are sittings for 620, one half 
being free. The Rev. J. "Webster, 
M.A. , is th3 Vicar; the living (value 
£220) being in the gift of the Vicar of 
Moseley, King's Heath ecclesiastical 
parish being formed out of Mossley 
pa'.ish in 1863. 

All Saints', Small Heath.— Rev. G. 
F. B. Cross, M. A., Vicar. Soon after 
the death of the Rev. J. Oldknow, 
D.D. , of Holy Trinity, in 1874, it was 
resolved to carry out liis ilying wishes 
by erecting a church in the fast-filling 
district of^ Small Heath. At first the 
iron building formerly used as a place 
of worship in Cannon Hill Park was 
put up, and the Vicar was instituted 
in October, 1875. The foundation- 
stone of a permanent buihUng was 
laid Sept. 8, 1882, which accommo- 
dates over 1,000 worshippers. That 
part of the future "Oldknow Me- 
morial Church" at present finished, 
comprising the nave^ north aisle, and 
north transept, with seating for nearly 
700 (all free), was consecrated July 
28, 1883. The patronage is vested in 
trustees, the incumbent's stipend being 
£150. 

All Saints' , Stechford. — A temporar 



226 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



cluircli of iron hiuI wooil, erected at a 
cost of £620, to accommodate 320 per- 
sons, all seats being free, was dedicated 
Dec.' 18, 1877. 

Aston Church. -It is impossible to 
fix the date of erection ot the tiist 
church for the parish of Aston, but 
that it must have been at a very early 
period is shown by the entry in the 
Domesday Book relative to the manor 
The parish itself formerly included 
Bordesley aud Deritend, Nechells and 
Saltlev, Erdin^ton and Witton, Castle 
Bromwich, Ward End, and \\ater 
Orton, an area so extensive that the 
ecclesiastical income was very consider- 
able. In Henry III.'« reign the Dean 
and Chapter of Lichfield received 
twenty marks yearly out of the fruits 
of the rectory, the annual value ot 
which was sufficient to furnish 
£26 13s 4d. over and above the twenty 
marks. Records are in existence show- 
in^' that the church (which was deui- 
cated to St. Peter and St. Paul) was 
considerably enlarged about 300 years 
after the Conquest, and a renovation 
was carried out nearly a century back, 
but the alterations made during the 
last few yenrs (1878-84) have been so 
extensive that practically it^nay be 
said the edifice has been rebuilt. ihe 
seating capacity of the old cluircli was 
limited to about 500, but three trmes 
that number of persons will, in future, 
find accommodation, the cost ot tlie 
extensions and alterations having been 
nearlv £10,000. The ancient monu- 
ments, windows, and tablets have all 
been carefully replaced in positions 
correspoudin- to those they tilled tor- 
merly, with many additions in the 
shape of coloured glass, heraldic em- 
blazonments, and chaste carvings in 
wood and stone. The old church, for 
generations past, has been the centre- 
point of interest with local anti- 
quarians, as it was, in the days tar 
gone, the chosen last restmg-placo ot 
so many connected with our ancient 
l,istory-the Holtes, the Eidingtons, 
the Devereux, the AixUns the Har- 
courts, the Bracebridges, Clodshalls, 



Bagots, &c. Heie still may be seen 
the°stone and alabaster effigies of lords 
and ladies who lived in the time of the 
Wars of the Roses, two showing by 
their dress that while one was Lancas- 
terian, the other followed the fortunes 
of York. The tablets of the Holte' 
family, temp. Elizabeth and Charles, 
and tlie Devereux monument of the 
Jacobean era, are well preserved, while 
all around the shields and arms ot the 
ancient families, with their many 
quarterings, form the best heraldic 
collection anywhere near Birmingham. 
The parish registers date from the 16lh 
century, and the churchwardens 
accounts are preserved from the year 
1652. Among the facts recorded m 
the former we may note the burial of 
the dozen or so Royalist soldiers who 
lost their lives while defending Aston 
Hall from the attacks made on it by 
the Birmingham men in December, 
1643 ; while in both there are quaint 
eutrits innumerable, and full of 
curious interest to the student and 
historian. The Rev. W. Eliot, M.A., 
the present vicar, was instituted in 
1876 (commencing duty Feb. 25, 
1877), the living (£1,600 value) being 
in the presentation ot trustees. In 
connection with the Church there are 
Mission Rooms in Tower Road and m 
Alfred Street, with Sumiay Schools, 
Bible classes, Dorcas, and other socie- 
ties. The first portion ot the late 
additions to the Church was conse- 
crated July 5, 1880 _; the new chan- 
cel on Sept. 8, 1883 

Bisho}) Rider's, a square-towered 
brick edifice in Gem Street, was built 
in 1837-38, the laying of the founda- 
tion stone (August 23, 1837) being 
characterised by the almost unheard-of 
conduct of the low denizens of the 
neighbourhood, who pelted the Bishop 
of Liclifield Avith mud on the occasion. 
The consecration took place Dec. 18, 
1838 andthebuilding cost£4,600. The 
living, valued at £300, is in the hands 
of trustees, the present vicar being the 
Rev. J. P. Gardiner. The vicarage. 



SUOWELLS DICTIONAllY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



227 



whicli wa« nompleted in 1S62 at a cost 
of £2,240, is ill Snttoii Stieet, Aatoii 
Road — too near a residence to the 
church not being deemed advisable 
even five-aud-twenty years after the 
openincf ceremony of 1837. In 1879 
the galleries were removed, and the 
church re-pewed and otherwise reno- 
vated, the re-opening taking place 
July 28, there being now 860 free 
sittings. 

Christ Church, New Street. — At first 
known as ''The Free Ciiurch," this 
eiiificu was for no less than ten years in 
the hands of t);e builders. The corner- 
stone was laid July 22, 1805, by 
Lord Dartmouth, in the absence of 
George III., who had promised, but 
was too ill, to be present. His Majesty, 
however, s«nt £1,000 towards the 
building fund. It was consecrated 
July 13, 1813 ; finished in 1816 ; clock 
put in 1817. The patron is the 
Bishop of Woicester, and to the living 
(valued at £350), is attached a Preben- 
dary in Lichfield Cathedral. The pre- 
sent Vicar, since 1881, is the Rev. E. 
R. llHson, j\I A. There is accommoda- 
tion for 1,500, all the seats being free, 
but at one time the worshipjiers were 
limited in their freedom of sitting by 
the males having to take their places 
on one side and the females on the 
other, a custom which gave rise to the 
following epigram : 

" Our churclies and chapels we generally 

find 
Are the jilaces where men to the women are 

joined ; 
But at Christ Church, it seems, they are 

more cruelhearted, 
For men and their wives go there and get 

parted." 

Mission services in connection with 
Chiist Church are held in the Pinfold 
Street and Fleet Street Schoolrooms. 

Christ Church, Gillott Road, Sum- 
mei field. The foundation stone of a 
church to be erected to the memory of 
the late Rev. George Lea (for 43 years 
connected with Christ Church and St. 
George's, Ecgbaston) was laid Nov. 27, 



1883. It is intended to accommodate 
850 persons,and will (-ostabout £8,000, 
excluiive of a tower 110ft. high which 
will be added alterwards at a lurther 
cost of £1,200. 

Christ Church, Quintoii, was erected 
in 1S41, at a cost of £2,500, and will 
seat 600, two-thirds being free. The 
living is valued at £200, is in the gift 
of the Rector ol Halesowen (in whose 
parish Quinton was formerly included), 
and is held by the Rev. C. H. Oldfield, 
B.A. 

Christ Church, Sparkbrook, is a 
handsome Gothic erection, built on 
laud given by Mr. S. S. Lloyd, the 
first stone being laid April 5, 1866, 
and the opening ceremony on October 
1, 1867, The living, a perpetual 
curacy, is in the gift of trustees, and 
is valued at £350 per annum, and has 
been held hitherto by the Rev. G. 
Tonge, M.A. The building of the 
church cost nearlj' £10,000, the accom- 
modation being sufficient for 900 per- 
sons, one-half th; seats being free. 
The stained window in chancel to the 
memory of Mrs. S. S. Lloyd, is said 
by some to be the most beautiful in 
Birmingham, the subject being the 
Resurrection. There are Mission Rooms 
and Sunday Schools in Dolobran Road, 
Montpellier Street, Long Street, and 
Stratford Road, several thousands hav- 
ing been spent in their erection. 

Christ Church, Yardley Wood, was 
built and endowed by the late John 
Taylor, Esq., in 1848, the consecration 
taking ]:)lace Agril 4, 1849. Vicaiage, 
value £185 ; patrons, trustees ; Vicar, 
Rev. C. E. Beeby, B.A. Seats 260, 
the 60 being free. 

Udgbccston Old Church. — It is not 
known when the first church was built 
on this site, some writers having gon 
so far back as to fix the year 777 as the 
probable date. The present edifice, 
though it incorporates some few re- 
mains of former erections, and will 
always be known as the "old" 
church, really dates but from 1809-10, 
when it was re-built (opened Sept 10, 
1810) but, as the Edgbastonians began 



228 



SHOWELL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



to increase and multiplj' rapiJl}' after 
that time, it was foumi necessary to 
add a nave and aisle in 1857. There 
is niiw only accommodation for 670, 
and hut a hundred or so of the seats 
are free, so that possibly iu a few more 
years the renovators and restorers will 
be busy providiiif; another new old 
church for us. The patron is Lord 
Calthorpe, and the living is valued at 
£542, but the power of presenting has 
only been exercised three times during 
the last 124 years, I he Rev. John 
Prynne Parkes Pixeli, who was ap- 
pointed vicar in 1760, being succeeded 
by his son in 1794, who held the living 
fifty-four years. At his death, iu 1S48, 
the Rev. Isaac Spooner, who had for 
the eleven previous years been the first 
incumbent of St. Georgt^'s, EJgbaston, 
was inducted, and remained vicar till 
his death, July, 1884. In ihe Church 
there are several monuments to mem- 
bers of the Calthorpe family, and one 
in memory of Mr. Joshua Scholefie'd, the 
first M.P. for Birmingham, and alto 
some richly-coloured windows and 
ancient-dated tablets connected with 
the oldest families of the Midd'.emores 
and others. 

Hall Green Church was built in 
Queen Anne's reign, and has seats for 
475, half free. It is a vicarage (value 
£175), in the gifc of trustees, and now 
held by the Rev. R. Jones, B.A. 

Eand&U'Orih Church. — St. Mary's, 
the mother church of the parish, \iss 
probably erected in the twelfth cen- 
tury, but has undergcne time's inevit- 
able changes of cnlargen:ents, altera- 
tions, and rcbuildings, until little, if 
any; of the original structure could 
possibly be shown. Great alterations 
were made during the 15th and I7th 
centuries, and again about 1759, and 
in 1820 ; the last of all being those of 
our own days. During the couise of 
the " restoration," now completed, an 
oval tablet was taken down from Ihe 
pediment over the south porc'li, bf Br- 
ing the inscription ol "John Hall aid 
John Hopkins, churchwardens, 1759," 
whose economising notions had led 



them to cut ths said tablet out of an 
old gravestone, the side built into the 
wall having inscribed on its lace, "The 
bodye of Thomas Lindon, who departed 
this life the 10 ot April, 1675, and 
was yeares of age 88." The cost of the 
rebuilding has been nearly £11,000, 
the whole of wliich h^s been sub- 
scribed, the reopening taking place 
Sept. 28, 1878. Tliere are several 
ancient monuments iu fair preserva- 
tion, and also Chantrej''s celebrated 
statue of Watls. The living is valued 
at £1,500, the Rector, the Rev. W. 
Randall, M.A , being his own patron. 
The sittings in the church are (with 
a few exceptioi s only) all free and 
number over 1,000, Sunday and other 
services being also lield in a Mission 
Room at Hamstead. 

Holy Trinity. — The first stone of 
the Church ot the Holy Trinity iu 
Caui}) Hill, was placed in position 
Sei.t. 29, 1820. The building was " 
con.>~(cratcd Jan. 23, 1823, and opened 
for services March 16 following. The 
cost was £14,325, and the number of 
sittings provided 1,500, half to be free. 
The services have from the first been 
markedly of a Ritualistic character, 
and the ornate decorations of the 
church have been therefore most ap- 
j)rcpriate. The living (value £230) is 
a vicarage in the gift of trustee.-i, and 
is at present held by the Rev. A. H. 
Watts, who succeeded the Rev. R. W. 
Enraght after the latter's suspension 
and imprisonment. — See " Jiilualisvi." 
Holy Trinity, Birehtields.— Fir.-t 
stone jilaced Mav 26. 1863 ; consecrated 
May 17, 1864. ' Cost about £5,000. 
The living (value £320) i.s a vicarage 
in the gilt of the Rector of Hands- 
worlh, and is now held by the Rev. 
P. T. Maitland, who "leadhimscU in " 
May 16, 1875. 

Holy Trinity, North Harborne, was 
built in 1838-39 at a cost of £3,750, and 
will seat 700, one half being fret-. 
The living (value £300) is in the gift 
of the Dean and Chap'er of Lichfield. 
Imniitnuel Church, Broad Street. — 
The foundation stone was laid July 



SHOWKLLS DICTIONAUY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



229 



12, 1864 ; the consecration took place 
May 7, 1865 ; the cost of ere'^tiou was 
,1 little ovtr £4,009; there are sea's lor 
800, of wliicli 600 are free ; and tlie 
living (vahie<l at £300), lias been held 
natil now by the Rev. G. H. Coleman, 
the ])resentHtion beinc; in the bands of 
trustees. The ''Magdalen" Giiaiiel was 
formerly on the site. 

Iron Churches. — May 22, 1S74, an 
edifice built of iron was opened for 
religious purposes in Canon Hill Park, 
but the congregation tliat assembled 
were so scanty that in July, 1875, it was 
deem;;d expedient to remove it to Small 
Heath where it was used as a temporary 
'■ Oldknow Memorial " Church. Other 
iron chiirclies have been utilised in the 
siil)urbs since then, and there is now 
no novelty in such erections, a score 
of which may be found within half the 
number of miles. 

St. Agnes' , Moselej', off Wake Green 
Road. — The foundation stone was laid 
October 3, 1883, and its estimated cost 
is put at about £8,000. At present 
only a [)art sufficient to accommodate 
400 per.'^ons is b^ing i)roceeded with, 
but when completed the edifice will 
hold double that number, and will be 
127tt. long by 48ft. wide, a tower and 
spire rising from the centre of the west 
end to a lieight of 137ft. 

St. Albans. — A Jlission chapel, 
deilicated to St. Alban, was opened in 
Leopold Street in September, 1865. 
This now forms a school belonging to 
the adjoining church, which was 
opened 5larch 7. 1872. The curacy is 
held by the ReVds. J. S. and T. B. 
Pollock, but the friends of those 
gentlemen have since e Ci^tcil a far 
handsomer edifice, the Church of St. 
Aiban the Martyr, at the coriier of 
Conybere Street and Ryland Street, at 
a cost estimated at £20,000— £1 500 
being paiii for the site. The first stone 
of tnis magnificent building was laid 
January 31, 1880, the opening service 
taking place at 6.30 a.m.. May 3, 
1881. There is free seating for 1,000 
in the new church, for 460 in St. 
Albau's, Leopold Street, and for a 



furth'-r 400 in the Mission Room — th.e 
services being entirely dfpeudent on 
the gifts to the offertory, &c. On the 
Saint's day the special collections 
have for years been most remarkable, 
seldom less than £1,000 being given, 
while occasionally the amount has been 
more than four times that sum, 
The services are "High Church," 
with three daily celebrations and seven 
on Sunday. 

St. Andrew's, Bordesk'.y. — The foun- 
dation-stone was laid July 23, 1844, 
and consecration took place, Sept. 30, 
1846. The cost of the building was 
about £5,000, the site being given. 
The value of the living is £320, the 
Bishop and trustees having the right 
of preferment alternately. Thiire is 
accommodation for 800, one-fourth of 
the seats being free. The present Vicar 
is the Rev. J. Williamson, M.A. The 
iron-built church of S. Oswald, oppo- 
site Small Heath Park, Coventry-road, 
is attached to S. Andrew's. 

St. Annes, Daddeston, consecrated 
Oct. 22, 1869, is a brick building, 
giving accommodation fiu' 810, half 
the seats being free. The Bishop pre- 
sents the living, being of the nett value 
of £260. Rev. T. J. Haworth is the 
Vicar. Services also at the Jlission 
Room, Great Francis Street. 

St. Anne's, Park Hill, Moseley. — 
This Chapclnf-Ease to iloseley was 
built at the e.xpense of Miss Amlerton, 
of Moseley Wake Green, the consecra- 
tion taking place Sept. 22, 1874. The 
living is valued at £150, and is in iho 
gift of the Vicar of Moseley, the present 
incumbent being the Rev. J. Leverett, 
il.A. Half the 400 seats are Iree. 

St. Asaph's, Great Colniore Street, 
— the freehold of the site was given 
by Mr. Cregie Colmore, and the erec- 
tion of the church, which yet want 
the tower and s^are, co'^t £5,450. The 
cornerstone was laid Aug. 22, 1867, 
and the building was consecrated Dec. 
3, 1868. There are 950 sittings, of 
which 500 are free. Trustees present. 
The living, value £300, being now held 
by the Rev. R. Fletcher, M.A. 



230 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



St. Aii'jnsfines, Hagley Road, the 
foundation stone i f which was laid 
Oct. 14, 1867, was consecrated Sep- 
tember 12, 1868, the first cost being 
a little over £9,000, but a tower and 
spire (185ft. high) was added in 1876 
at a further cost of £4,000. It is a 
Chapel-of-ease to Edgbaston, in the 
gift of the Bishop. Value £500. Held 
by Rev. J. C. Blissard, M. A. Seats, 650. 
St. Barnabas', Erdington. — This 
church, ori.inally built in 1823, at a 
cost of about £6,000, witli accommo- 
dation for 700 only, has lately been 
enlarged so as to ]irovide 1,100 sittings 
(600 Iree) — £2,700 being expended on 
the improvements. The Vicar of Aston 
is jiatron, and the living is valued at 
£300. The re-opening took place 
June 11, 1883. Rev. H. H. Rose, 
M.A. , has been Vicar since 1850. 

St. Barnabas', Rylaud Street. — First 
stone laid Aug. 1, 1859 ; consecrated 
Oct. 24, 1860; renovated in 1882. 
Has sittings fir 1,050, of which 650 are 
free. Value £300, in the gift of trustees. 
Present Vicar, Rev. P. Waller. Ser- 
vices also at Mission Room, Sheepcote 
Street. 

St. Bartholomew's. — The building of 
this church was commenced in 1749, 
the site being given liy William 
Jennens, Esq., and £1,000 towards 
the building by his mother, Mr.--. Aune 
Jennens. Lord Fielding also gave 
£120 to pa}'- for an altar-piece, which 
is greatly admired. Surrounded for 
very many j^ears by a barren-looking 
graveyard, tlie huge brick- built edifice 
was very unsightly, and being close to 
the Park Street burial ground it was 
nicknamed "the paujiers' church." 
Since the laying out of the grounds, 
however, it has much improved iu 
appearance. The Rector of St. Martin's 
presents, and the living is valued at 
£280. There are 1,800 sittings, 1,000 
being free. Week-night services are 
also hell in Mission Room, Fox Street. 
St. Catherine's, Nechells. — Founda- 
tion stone laid July 27, 1877 ; conse- 
crated November 8, 1878 ; cost 
nearly £7,000 ; seats 750, more than 



half being free. Yearly value £230 ; 
in the gift of trus ees. Present vicar, 
Rev. T. H. Nock, M.A. 

St. Catherine's Rotton Park. — Tlie 
Mission Room in Coplow St. , in connec- 
tion with St. John's, Ladywood, is the 
precursor of this church yet to be built. 
St. Clement's, Nt-chells. — First stone 
laid, October 27, 1857 ; consecrated 
August 30, 1859. Seats 850 (475 
free). Vicarage, value £300, iu the 
gift of Vicar of St. Matthew's. Present 
incumbent, Rev. J. T. Butlin, B.A. 
Services also at Mission Room, High 
Park Street. 

St. Cuthhert's, Birmingham Heath, 
was commenced April 19, 1871 ; opened 
March 19, 1872, and has seats for 800, 
half Vteing free. Yearh' value £250 ; in 
the hands of trustees. Present in- 
cumbent, Rev. W. H. Tarleton, M.A. 

^S";;. Cyprian's, Hay Mill. — The 
foundation-stone of this church (built 
and endowed by J. Horsfall, Esq.), was 
laid April 14, 1873, and the o|iening 
services were held in the following 
January. The eeremonj' of consecra- 
tion did not take place until April 23, 
1878, when a district was assigned to 
the church. Rev. G. H. Simms is the 
])resent Vicar, and the living (value 
£150) is in the gift of the Bishop. 

St. David's, Bissell Street. — First 
stone was laid July 6, 1864, and the 
building was consecrated in the same 
month of the following year. The 
cost of erection was £6,200, and there 
is accommodation for 955, 785 seats 
being free. Tlie living (value £300) is 
in the gift of trustees, and is at present 
held by Rev. H. Boydon, B.A. Week 
night services also at Mission Room, 
Macdonald Street. 

St. Edhurgh's. — The parish church 
of Yardley, aating from Henry VII. 's 
reign, contains monuments relating to 
several of our ancient families of local 
note. The living is a vicarage (value 
£525) in the gift of the Rev. J. Dodd, 
the present vicar being the Rev. F. S. 
Dodd, M.A. There is accommodation 
for 600, a third of the seats being free. 
St. Gabriel's, Pickford Street.— The 



SHOWELL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



231 



first stone was laid in September, 1867, 
and the consecration took place Jan. 
5, 1S69, The sittings number 600, 
most being free. Tlie living (value 
£300) is in the gift of th^ Bishop, and 
is held by the Rev. J. T. Tanse, vicar. 
A mission room at tlie west end of the 
church was opened Dec. 14, 1878. It 
is 105ff. long by 25ft. wide, and will 
seat 800. Tiie cost was about £3,500, 
and it is said the Yicar and his friends 
saved £-2,500 by building the rooms 
themselves. 

St. George's. — When first budt, there 
were so few houses near Great Hampton 
Row and Tower Street, that tliis church 
was known as " St. George's in the 
Fields," and the site for church and 
churchyard (3,965 square yards) was 
purchased for £200. The foundation 
stone was laid April 19, 1820, and the 
consecration took place July 30, 1822. 
The tower is 114fc. high, and the first 
cost of the building was £12,735, 
Renovated in 1870, the churcli has 
latterly been enlarged, the first stone 
of a new chancel being placed in posi- 
tion (Juup, 1882) by the Bishop of 
Ballarat, furmerly rector of the paiish. 
This and other additions has added 
£2, 350 to the original cost of the church, 
which provides accommodation for 
2,150, all but 700 being free ss^ats. 
The living (value £500) is in the gift 
of trustees, and the present Rector is 
the Rev. J. G. Dixon, M.A. The 
church was re-opened ilarch 13, 1883, 
and services are also conducted in New 
Summer Street and in Smith Street 
Scliool rooms. 

St. George's, Edgbaston. — First stone 
laid Aug. 17, 1836 ; consecrated Nov. 
28, 1838. Cost £6,000. Perpetual 
curacy (value £300), in the gift of Lord 
Caltliorpe. 1,000 sittings, of which 
one- third are free, but it is proposed to 
considerably enlarge the building, and 
possibly as much as £8,000 will be 
spent thereon, with proportionate ac- 
commodation. 

St. James's, Ashted. — Originally the 
residence of Dr. Ash, this building was 
remodelled and opened as a place of 



worship, Oct. 9, 1791. As Aihted 
Chapel it WiS sold by auction, May 3, 
1796. Afterwards, being dedicated to 
St. James, it was consecrated, the 
ceremony tiking place Aug. 7, 1807. 
The living (value £300) is in the gift 
of trustees, the present vicar being tlie 
Rev. H. C. Phelps, M.A. Of the 1,350 
sittings, 450 are free, there being also 
a mission room in Vau.xhall Roid. 

St. James's, Aston. — The mission 
room, ill Tower Eoad, in comection 
witli Aston Church, is known as St. 
James's Church Room, it being in- 
tended to erect a churcli on an adjoin- 
ing site. 

St. James's, Edgbaston, whicli cost 
about £6,000, was consecrated June 1, 
1852, and has 900 sittings, one-fourth 
b^^iiig free. Perpetual curacy (value 
£230) in the gift of Lord Calthorpe. 
Tiie 25th anniversary of the incum- 
bency of the Rrv. P. Browne, M.A., 
was celebrated June 7, 1877, by the 
inauguration of a new organ, subscribed 
for by the consregation. 

St. James's, Handsworth, was built 
in 1849, and has 800 sittings, of which 
one half are free. The living (value 
£300) is in the gift of the Rector of 
Handsworth, and the present vicar is 
the Rev. H. L Randall, B.A. 

St. John's, D.'i-itend.— The ^'Chapel 
of St. John's," was commenced in 
1375 ; it was licensad in 1381 by the 
monks of Tickford Priory, who ap- 
pointed the Vicars of Aston, in which 
parish Deritenil then was ; it was re- 
paired in 1677, and rebuilt in 1735. 
Tne tower was added in 1762, and 
clock and bells put in in 1776. This 
is believed to have been tlie first church 
in which the teachings of \Yyclitie and 
the Reformers were allowed, the grant 
given to the inhabitants leaving in 
their hands the sole choice of the 
minister. This rite was last exer- 
ciseil June 15, 1870, wiien the present 
chaplain, the Rev. \V. C. Badger, was 
elected by 3,800 votes, against 2,299 
given for a rival candidate. There is 
accommodation for 850, of which 250 
seats are free. It is related that when 



232 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



the preoput edifice was erected (1735) 
a part of the small burial ground was 
taken into the site, and that pjw-rents 
are only charged for the sittings cover- 
ing the ground so occupied. Tlie 
living is valued at £400. For a most 
interesting account of this church re- 
ference should be made to "Memorials 
of Old Birmingham " by the late Mr. 
Toulmin Smith. Services also take 
place at the School Room, and at tlie 
Mission Room, Darwin Street. 

St. John's, Ladywood, built at a 
cost of £6,000, the site being given by 
the Governors of tlie Free Grammar 
School, and the stone for building by 
Lord Calthorpe, was consecrated 
March 15, 1854. In 1881, a further 
sum of £2,350 was expended in the 
erection of a new chancel and other 
additions. The Rector of St. Martin's 
is tlie patron of the living (valued at 
£330), and the present Vicar is the 
Rev. J. L. Porter, M.A. The sittings 
number 1,250, of wdiich 550 are free. 
Services are also conducted at the 
Mission Room, Coplow Street, and on 
Sunday evenings in O.-^ler Sireel Board 
School. 

St. John's, Perry Barr, was built, 
endowed, and a fund left for future re- 
pairs, by "Squire Gongh," of Perry 
Hall, the cost being about £10,000. 
The consecration took place Aug. 6, 
1833, and was a day of great rejoicing 
in tlie neighbourhood. In 1S6S the 
church was supplied wiih a peal of eight 
bells in memory of the late Lord Cal- 
thorpe. The living (valued at £500) is 
in the gift of the Hon. A. G. G. Cal- 
thorpe. 

St. Jolin the Baptist, East Harborne, 
which cost rather nn.re than £4,000, 
was consecrated November 12, 1858. 
It has sittings for 900, of which number 
one halfarelree. Living valuedat£115; 
patron Rev. T. Smith, M.A. ; vicar, 
Rev. P. Smith, B.A. 

St. John the Evangelist, Stratford 
Road. — A temporary iron church which 
was opened April 2, 1878, at a cost of 
£680. A Mission Room, in Warwick 



Road. Greet, is in connection with 
above. 

St. Jude's, Tonk Street, which was 
consecrated July 26, 1851, has 1,300 
sittings, of which 1,000 are fioe. In 
the summer of 1879, the building 
underwent a much-needed course of 
renovation, and has been still further 
improved by the destruction of the 
many 'rookeries" formerly surround- 
ing it. The patronage is vested in the 
Crown and Bishop alternately, but the 
living is one of the poorest in the 
town, only £150. 

St. Laicrcnce's, Dartmouth Street.^ 
First stone laid June 18, 1867 ; conse- 
crated June 25, 1868 ; has i-itrings for 
745, 400 being free. The Bishop is the 
patron, and the living (value £320) is 
now held by the Rev. J. F. M. Wliish, 
B.A. 

St. Luke's, Bristol Road. — The foun- 
dation stone of this old Norinan -looking 
church was laid July 29, 1841, but it 
might have been in 1481 to judge b}' 
its present appearance, the unhirtunate 
choice of the stone used in the building 
givi:.g q lift' aa ancient louk. It cost 
£3,700, and was consecrated Sept. 28, 
1842. There are 300 free scats out of 
800. The trustees are pitroiis, and the 
living (value £430) is held by the Rev, 
W. B. Wilkinson, M.A., vicar. 

St. Margaret's, Ledsani Street. — The 
cost of this church was about £5,000 ; 
the first stone was laid. May 16, 1874 ; 
the consecration took place Oct. 2, 1875, 
and it finds so;iting for 800, all free. 
The Bishop is the patron of the living 
(a 1 erpetual curacy value £300), nnd it 
is now held by the Rev. H. A. Nash, 
The schoolroom in Rann Street is 
licensed in connection with St. Mar- 
garet's. 

St. Margaret's Olton, was consecra- 
ted Dec. 14, 1880, the fir.-it stone having 
been iHidOrt. 30, 1879. 

St. Margaret's, Ward End, built on 
the site, iiud partly with the ruins of 
an ancient church, wasojiened in 1836, 
and gives accommodation for 320 per- 
sons, 175 seats being free. The living, 
value £150, is in the gift of trustees, 



«HO\VEhLS DICTIONARY' OF BIRMINGHAM. 



233 



and is lield by the Rev, C. Heath, 
M.A. , Vicar. 

St. Mark's, King Elward's Rnad. — 
First stone laid Marcli 'il, 1840 ; con- 
secrated July 30, 1841. Cost ahoiit 
£4,000, and ai'commodates 1,000, about 
a third of the seats being free. A 
vicarage, value £300 ; patrons, trustees ; 
vicar. Rev. R. L. G. Pidcock, M.A. 

SL Martins. — There is no authentic 
date by wliich we can arrive at the 
probalile period of the first building of 
a Church for the parish of Rinuing- 
ham. Hutton "supposed" there was 
a church liero aboui a.d. 750, but uo 
other writer has ventured to go past 
1280, and as there is no mention in 
the Domesday Book of any such build- 
ing, the last supposition is probibly 
nearest the mark. The founder of the 
church was most likely Sir WiUiun de 
Berniingliam, of whom there is still a 
monumental efligy existing, and the 
first endowment would naturally come 
from the same family, who, before the 
erection of such church, wuuld have 
their own chapel at the JMaiior House. 
Other endowments there werb from the 
Clo<lsh:vles, notubly tiiat of Walter do 
Clodshale, in 1330, who left twenty 
acres of land, four messuages, and ISd. 
aunnal rent, lor one priest to say mass 
daily for the souls of the said "Walter, 
liis wife, Agnes, and their aiicestors ; 
in 1347, Richard de Cloilshale gavf ten 
acres of land, five messuages, ami 10s. 
yearly for another priest to say mass 
for him and his wife, and his father 
and mother, "and all the faithful de- 
parted" ; in 1428, Richard, grandson 
of the last-nameii, left 20s. by his will, 
and bequeathed his body " to be buried 
in his own chapel," "within the 
Parish Church of Bermyngeham." 
BesidfS the Clodshale Chantry, there 
was that of the Guild of tlie Holy 
Cross, but when Henry VIII. laid 
violent hands on all ecclesiastical pro- 
perty (1535) that belongeil to the 
Church of St. Martin was valued at 
no more than £10 Is. From the few 
fragments that were found when the 
present building was erected, and from 



Dugdale's descriptions that has come 
down to us, there can be little doubt 
that the church was richly orna- 
mented with monuments and itaiut- 
ings, coloured windows and encaustic 
tiles, though its income from property 
would appear to have been meagre; 
enough. Students ot history will 
readily understand how the fine old 
place came grailually to be but little 
better than a huge barn, the inside 
walls whitewashed as was the wont, 
the monuments mutilated and pushed 
into corners, the font shoved out of 
sight, and the stained glass windows 
demolished. Outside, the walls and 
evim tlie tower were "cased in l)rick" 
by the churcliwardens (1690), wlio 
nevertheless thought tliey were doing 
the right thing, as among the records 
of the lost Staunton Collection there 
was one, dated 1711, of " Monys ex- 
pended in public cliaritys by ye in- 
habitants ot Birmingham, wth in 19 
years last past," viz. :— 

In casing, repairing, ic, ye Old 

Church £1919 01 ^ 

Adding to ye Communion Plate 

of ye said ChurLdi 275 ounces 

of new silver .. . .. 80 10 06 

Repairing ye liigli ways leading 

to ye town wth in these 9 

years SOS 00 01 

Subscribed by ye inhabitants 

towards erecting a New 

Church, now consecrated, and 

Parsonage house .. .. 2234 13 11 



In all.. 



£0132 12 3J 



In the nutter of architectural taste the 
ideas of the churchwardens seem 
curiously mi.xed, for while disfiguring 
the old church they evidently ilid 
their best to srcure tiie erection of the 
splendid new church of St. Philip's, 
as among other entries there were 
several like these : — 

" 2Si)ds. 2s. well Mr. Jno. Holte has 
(•olk'cted in Oxford towards build- 
ing ye New Church." 

" Revd. £30 from Sir Charles Holte, 
Baronet, for the use of the Com.e 
of the New Churcli." 

From time to tim^ other alterations 
were made, such as new rooting, shut- 



234 



SnOWELL's DICTIONARY OF BIRMIXGHAII. 



ting up the clerestory wiudows, piercing 
the walls of the chancel and the body 
of the church for fr^-sh windows attach- 
iuf a vestrv, &c. The churchyava was 
partly surrounded by houses, and in 
1781 "iron pallisadoes" were affixed 
to the wall. In this year also 33tt. 
of the spire was taken dowu and re- 
built. In 1807 the churchyard was 
enlarged by the purchase of five tene- 
ments fronting Spiceal Street, belong- 
inw to the Governors of the Free 
Grammar School, for £423, and the 
Commissioners having cleared the Bull 
Ring of the many erections fornieiiy 
existing there the old church in its 
hideous brick dress was fully exposed 
to view. Noble and handsome places 
of worship were erected in other parts 
of the town, but the old mother church 
was kit in all its shabbiness until it 
became almost unsafe to hold services 
therein at all. The bitter feelings en- 
gendered by the old church-rate wars 
had doubtless much to do with 
this neglect of the " parish " church, 
but it was not exactly creditable to 
the Birmingham men of '49, when at- 
tention was drawn to the dangerous 
condition of the spire, and a general 
restoration was proposed, that what 
one gentleman has been pleased to call 
" the lack of public interest" should 
be made so manifest that not even 
enough could be got to rebuild the 
tower. Another attempt was made in 
1853, and on April 25th, 1854, the 
work of restoring the tower and re- 
building the spire, at a cost of £6,000, 
was conimenced. The old brick casing 
was replaced by stone, and, on com- 
pletienof the tower, the first stone^of 
the new spire was laid June 20, 1S55, 
the "topi'iug" being successfully ac- 
complished November 22nd following. 
The height of the present spire from 
the ground to the top of the stone- 
work is 185ft. lOiin., the tower being 
G9ft. 6in., and the spire itself llCft. 
4iiu. ,the vane being an additional 
1 8ft. 6in. The old spire was about 3in. 
lower than the present new one, though 
it looked higher on account of its 



more beautiful form and its thinner 
top onlv surmounted by the weather- 
cock, now to be seen at Aston Hall. 
The clock and chimes were renewed at 
a cost of £200 in 1858 : the tunes 
played being "God save the Queen 
[Her Majesty visited Birmingham that 
year], "Rule Britannia," " Blue Bells 
of Scotland," "Life let us cherish, 
the " Eister Hymn," and two other 
hymns. Twenty years after (in 1878) 
after a very long period (nine years) of 
inaction, the charming apparatus was 
again put in order, the chimes being 
the same as before, with the excep- 
tion of "Aud lang syne," which IS 
substituted for "God save the 
Queen," in consequence of the latter 
not giving satisfaction since the 
bells have been repaired [vide "31aU"]. 
The clock dial is Oft. 6iu. in diameter. 
The original bells in the steeple were 
doubtless melted in the troublesome 
days of the Commonwealth, or perhaps, 
removed when Bluff Hal sequestered 
the Church's property, as a new set of 
six (total weight 53cwt. Iqr. 151bs.) 
were hung in 1682. During the last 
century these were recast, and addi- 
tion made to the peal, which now con- 
sists of twelve. 

Treble, cast in 1772, weight not noted. 

Second, „ 1771, . ditto. 

Tliird ,, 1758, weighing 6 2 lb 

Fourth, „ 1758, ,, 6 3 27 

Fifth, „ 1758, 

Sixth, ,, 1769, „ 

Seventh ,, 17iJS, ,, 

Eislith, „ 1758, ,, 

Ninth, ,, 1758, ,, 

TtMith, ,, 1758, 

Eleventh ,, 17C.9, ,, 

Tenor, ,, 1758, ,, 

The ninth bell was recast in 1790 ; 
fourth and fifth have also been recast, 
by Blews and Son, in 1870. In the 
metal of the tenor several coins are 
visible, one being a Spanish dollar ot 
1742. The following lines appear on 
some of the bells ; — 

On Seventh :-" You singers all that pme 
your health and happiness, he sober, 
meriy and wise and you will the same 
possess.' 



8 20 
S 2 12 

9 3 12 
11 3 6 
15 1 17 
17 3 2 
27 3 16 
35 8 



SHOWELL's dictionary of DIRMINGHAM. 



235 



On Eighth.— "To honour both of God and 
King, our voices shall in concert ring.'' 

On Tenth.— "Our voices shall with joyful 
sound make, hills and valleys echo 
round." 

On Tenor.- " Let your ceaseless cli.inL,'es 
raise to our Great Malcer still new 
praise." 

The hanilsome appearance of the tower 
and spire, after restoration, coutrasted 
so strongly with the "dowdy" ap- 
pearance of the remainder of the 
church, that it was little wonder a 
more determined effort should be made 
for a general building, and this time 
(1872) tlie appeal was no longer in 
vain. Large donations were given by 
friends as well as by many outside the 
jiale of the Church, and Dr. Wilkin-on, 
the Rector, soon found himself in a 
position to proceed with the work. 
The iMst sermon in the old church was 
preached bv Canon Jliller, the former 
Rector, Oct. 27, 1872, and the old 
brick barn gave place to an ecclesi- 
astical structure of which the town 
may be proud, noble in proportions, 
and more than equal in its Gothic 
beauty to the original edifice of the 
Lords de Berminghara, whose sculp- 
tured monuments have at length found 
a secure resting-jilace in tlie chancel of 
the new St. Jlartin's. From east to 
west the length of the chtirch is a little 
over 155ft., including the chancel, the 
arch of which rises to 60ft. ; the width, 
including nave (25ft.) and north and 
south aisles, is 67ft. ; at the transepts 
the measure from r.orth to south gives 
104ft. width. The consecration and 
re-upening took ]ilice July 20, 1875, 
when the church, which will accommo- 
date 2,200 (400 seats are free) was 
thronged. Several stained windows 
have been put in, the organ has been 
enlarged, and much done in the way 
of decoration since the re-building, 
the total cost bring nearly £25,000. 
The living (£1,048 nett value) is in the 
gift of trustees, and has been held since 
1866 by the Rev. AV. Wilkinson, D.D , 
Hon. Canon of Worcester, Rural Dean, 



and Surrogate. The burial ground was 
closed Dec. 9, 1848. 

St. Mary's, Acock 's Green, was 
opened Oct. 17, 1866. The cost of 
erection was £4,750, but it was en- 
larged in £1882, at a further cost of 
£3^000 There are 720 sittings, 420 
bfing free. The nett value of the liv- 
ing, iu the gift of trustees, is £147, 
and the present vicar is tlie Rev. F. T. 
Swinburii, D.D. 

Si. Mary's, Aston Brook, was opened 
Dec. 10, 'l863. It seats 750 (half 
free), and cost £4,000 ; was the gift of 
Josiah Robins, Esq., ami family. 
Perpetual curacy, v-lue £300. The 
site of the parsonage (built in 1877, at 
a cost of £2,300), was the gift of Miss 
Robins. Present incumbent. Rev. F. 
Snith, M.A. 

St. Mary's, Moseley. — The original 
date of erection is uncertdn, but there 
are records to the effect that the tower 
was an addition made in Henry VIIL's 
reign, and there was doubtless a church 
liere long prior to 1500. The chancel 
is a modern addition of 1873; the bells 
were re-east about same time, the 
commemorative peal being lung June 
9, 1874 ; and on June 8, 1878, the 
churchyard was enlarged by the taking 
in of 4,500 square yards of adjoining 
land. The living, of which the Vicar 
of Bromsgrove is the patron, is worth 
£280. and is now held by the Rev. W. 
H. Colmore, Jl.A. OF the 500 sittings 
150 are free. 

St. Mary's, Selly Oak, was consecrated 
September 12, 1861, having been 
erected chiefly at the expense of G. R. 
Elkington and J. F. Ledsam, E^qr.s. 
Tliereare 620 .sittings, of which 420 are 
free. The living is in the gifc of the 
Bishop and trustee ; is valued at £200, 
and the present vicar is the Rev. T. 
Price, M.A. 

St. Mary's, Whittall Street, was 
erected in 1774. and in 1857 under- 
went a thorough renovation, the re- 
opening services being held August 16. 
There are 1,700 sittings of which 400 
are free. The living is a vicarage, with 
an endowment of £172 with ]>arsouage, 



236 



SHOWELL/S dictionary of liUlMlNGUAM. 



in the gift of trustees, and is now held 
by the Rev. J. S. Owen. 

St. Mattlmos, Great Lis'er Street, 
was consecrated October 20, 1840, an ; 
has sittings ior 1,400, 580 seals being 
free The original cost of the building 
was only £3,200, but nearly £1,000 
was expended upon it iu 1S83. Five 
trustees have the gift of the living, 
value £300, which is now held by the 
Rev. J. Byrchniore, vicar. I he 
Mission Room.in Lupin Street.is served 
from St. ilattht^w's. 

St. Matthias s, Wheeler Street, eoni- 
menced May 30th, 1855, was con- 
secrated June 4, 1856. Over__£l,000 
was spent on renovations in 1879. Ihe 
seats (1,150) are all free. The yearly 
value of the living is £300, and it is in 
the irift of trustees. The vicf.r is ihe 
Rev."^J. H. Haslam, M.A. 

St. MichacVs, in the Cemetei y, War- 
stone Line, was opened Jan. 15, 1854, 
the living (nominal value, £50) being 
in the gift of the directors. Will 
accommodate 400-180 seats being 
free 

St. MiclmeVs, Northfield.— Of the 
original date ot erection there is no 
trace, but it cannot be later than the 
eleventh century, and Mr. Allen 
Everett thought the chancel was built 
about 1189. The five old bells were 
lecast in 1730, by Joseph Smith ot 
Edgbaston, and made into six. ^ihe 
present building was erected in 1856-7, 
and has seating for 800, all free ihe 
livin^', valued at £740, is held by the 
Rev.'R. Wvlde, IM.A , and connected 
with it is tire cbapel-of-ease at Bartley 
Green. , 

St MiclmeVs, Soho, Handswortli, 
was opened in 1861. It has 1,000 sit- 
tings, one-half of which are tree 1 he 
livint' is valued at £370, is in tlie gift 
of the Rector of H:unisworth, and is 
now held by the Rev. F. A. ]\lacdona. 
St. Nicolfts, Lower Tower Street. — 
The ' foundation stone was laid Sept. 
15, 1867 ; the church was consecrated 
July 12, 1868, and it has seats for 5/6 
persons, the whole being iree. ihe 
Bishop is the patron of the living, 



value £300, and the Vicar is the Rev. 
W. H. Connor, M.A. 

St. Nidwlas, King's Norton.— This 
church is another of the ancient ones, 
the register dating from 1547. It was 
partially re-erected iu 1857, and more 
complet'ely so in 1872, more than 
£5,000 being expended upon it. The 
Dean and Chapter of Worcester are the 
patrons of the living (nett value £250), 
and the Vicar is the Rev. D. H. C. 
Preedy. There arc 700 sittings, 300 
of which are free. 

St. Oswald's, situtited opposite Small 
Heath Park, is an iron structure, 
lined with wood. It will seat about 
400, cost £600, and was opened Aug. 
10, 1882, being for the present m 
charge of tlie clergyman attached to 
St. Andrew's. 

Si,. Patrick's, Pligligate Street — 
Erected in 1873, at a cost of £2,300, 
as a "School-chajiel" attached to St. 
Alban's, and ministered unto by the 
Rovds. J. S. and T. B. Pollock. 800 
seats, all free. 

Si. Paul's, in St. Paul's Square.— 
The first stone was laid May 22, 
1777, and the church was consecrated 
June 2, 1779, but remained without 
its spire until 1823, and was minus a 
clock for a long time after that. The 
east window in this church has been 
classed as the Al of modern painted 
windows. The subject, the "Conver- 
sion of St. Paul," was designed by Ben- 
iamin West, and executed by Francis 
E^gingtou, in 1789-90. In May, lb76, 
the" okl discoloured varnish was re- 
moved, and the protecting transparent 
window re-glazed, -so that the fuii 
beauty and iinish of this exquisite 
work can be seen now as iu its original 
state Of the 1,400 sittings 900 are 
free. The living is worth ^300, in 
the <^dft of trustees, and is held by tue 
Rev.^R. B. Burges, M.A., Vicar. 

St Paul's, Lozells.— The first stone 
was laid July 10, 1879, and the build- 
in.^ consecrated Septeuibei 11, 1»3W. 
The total cost was £8,700, the number 
of sittings being 800, of which one halt 



SllOWEI.LS DICTIONARY OV UIHMINGHAM. 



237 



are free. Patrons, Trustees. Vicar, 
Kfev. E. D. Roberts, M.A. 

St. Paul's, ^lose'.ey Road, Balsall 
Heatb. — Fouiulaiioii stone laiil Jlay 
17, 1S52, the bn kling being opened 
that day twelvi-niomh. Cost ,£."), 500 
and has sittings for 1,300, of which 
number 465 are free. The Vicar of 
King's Norton is the patron of llie 
living (value £300), and it is held 
by the Rev. \\\ B. Benison, M.A. 

St. Peter's, Dale End, was begun 
in 1825, and consecrated Aug. 10, 
1827, having cost £19,000. Cju^ider- 
able damage to the churidi was caused 
by fire, Jan. 24, 1831. There are 1,500 
sittings, all free. The living is valued 
at £260, is in the gift of the Bi.shop, 
and is held by the Rev. R. Dell, M.A., 
Vicar. 

St. Philip's.— The parish of St. 
Philip's was created by special Act, 
7 Anne, c. 34 (1708), and it being the 
first division of Sr. Martin's the new 
parish was bound to pay the Rector 
of St. Martin's £15 per year and £7 
to the Cierk thereof, besides other 
liabilities. The site for the church 
(long called the " iSTew Churcli " and 
churchyard, as near as possible four 
acres, was given by Mrs. Phillips, 
which accounts for the Saint's name 
chosen. George I. gave £600 towards 
the building fund, on the a])plication 
of Sir Richard Gough, whose ciest of 
a boar's lieid was put over the church, 
and there is now, in the form of a vane, 
as an acknowledgment of his kindness. 
Other subscriptions cime in freely, 
and the £5,000, fir.-t estimated cosr, 
was soon raisid. [See ''St. Martin s''^. 
The building was commenced in 1711, 
and consecrated on October 4tli, 1715. 
but the church was not completed 
until 1719. The church was re-pewed 
in 1850, great prrt restored in 1859-60, 
and considerably enlarged in 1SS3-84. 
The height of the tower is 140ft., and 
there are ten bells, six of them dating 
from the year 1719 and the others 
from 1761. There is accommodation 
for 2,000 persons, 600 of the seats 
being free. The uett value of the 



living is £868, the Bishop being 
patron. Tlie present Rector, the Rev. 
H. B. l5owlby, M.A., Hon. Canon of 
Worcester, and Surrogate, has been 
with us since 1375, 

St. Saviour's, Saltlev, was conse- 
crated July 23, 1850." The cost of 
building was £6,000 ; there are 810 
seats, 560 being free ; the living is 
valued at £240, and is in the gift of 
Lord Norton ; the ]ireseut Vicar is the 
Rev. F. William-, B.A. 

St. Saviour's, Villa Street, Hockley. 
— Corner-stone laid April 9, 1872; con- 
secrated May 1, 1874. Cost £5,500, 
and has seats for 600, all fi'ee. The 
living (value £250) is in the gift of 
trustees, aud is now held by the Rev. 
M. Parker, Vicar-. 

St. Silas's Church Street, Lozells, 
was consecrated January 10, 1854, the 
fir.-t stone having been laid June 2, 
1852. It has since been enlarged, and 
has now 1,100 sittings, 430 being free. 
The liviuij (value £450) is a perpetual 
curacy, in the gift of trustees, and is 
held by the Rev. G. C. Baskerville, 
M.A. The ^Mission Room in Burbury 
Street is served from St. Silas's. 

St. Stephen's, Newtown Rpjw, was 
consecrated July 23, 1844. The build- 
ingcost£3, 200 ; there are l,150sitting~, 
of which 750 are free ; tiie living is 
valued at £250, is in the gift of th^ 
Bishop and tlie Crown alternately, and 
is now held by the Rev. P. Reynold.--, 
Vicar, who also provides for the Mission 
Room in Theodore Street. 

St. Stephen's, Selly Hill, was conse- 
crat.i'i August 18, 1871, tlie first stono 
having been laid March 30, 1870. The 
patrons are the Bishopand trustees ; the 
living isvaluedat£200 ; it is a perpetual 
curacy, and the incumbent is tlie Rev. 
R. Stokes. M.A. Of the 300 sittings 
100 are free. 

St. Thomas's, Hollo way Head. — 
First stone laid Oct. 2, 1826 ; con- 
secrated Oiit. 22, 1829, having cost 
£14,220. This is the largest church 
in Birmingham, there bting 2.600 sit- 
tings, of which 1,500 are tree. In the 
Chartist riots of 1839, the people tore 



238 



SH0WELLI3 DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



up the railings rouiul the churchyard 
to use as pikes. The living (value £550) 
is in the gift of trustees, and is held 
by the Rev. T. Halstead, Rector and 
Surrogate. 

St. T/tomas-in-the-Jiloors, Cox Street, 
Balsall Heath.— The chiirch was com- 
menced to be built, at the expense of 
the late William Sands Cox, Esq., in 
the year 1868, but on account oi' some 
quibble, legal or ecclesia.stical, the 
building was stopped when three parts 
finisheu. By his will Air. Cox directed 
it to be completed, and left a small 
endowment. This was added to by 
friends, and the consecration ceremony 
took place Aug. 14, 1883. The church 
will accommodate about 600 persons. 

St. Thomas the Martin:— Of this 
church, otherwise called the "Free 
Chapel," which was richly endowed in 
1350 (See "Memorials of Old Rir- 
mingham" by Toulmin Smith), and 
to which the Commissioners of Henry 
VIII., in 1545, said the inhabitants 
did " uiuche resorte,") there is not one 
stone left, and its very site is not 
known. 

Stircltlcy Street School-Church was 
erected in 1863, at a cost of £1,200, 
and is used on Sunday and occasional 
weekdiiy evenings. 

Places of Worship.— -Disscn^cjs'. 

— A hundred years ago the places of 
worshi}) in Birmingliam and its neigh- 
bourhood, other than the paiish 
chitrches, could have been counted on 
one's fingers, and even so late as 1841 
not more than four dozen were found 
by the census euunierators in a radius 
of some miles from the Bull Ring. At 
the present time conventicles and 
tabernacles, Bethels and Bethe.<das, 
Mission Halls anl Meeting Rooms, are 
so numerous that there is hardly a 
street away from the centre of the town 
but has one or more such buildings. 
To give the hi.story of half the meeting- 
places of the hundred-and-one different 
denominational bodies among n.s would 
till a book, but notes of the principal 
Dissenting places of worship are an- 
exed. 



Antinomians. — In 1810 the members 
of this sect had a chapel in Bartholo- 
mew Street, which was swept away by 
the L. and N. W. Rail^^ay Co., when 
extending their line to New Street. 

BaptL'its.—?\:[o\ to 1737, the '■' Par- 
ticular Bajitists " do not appeai- to have 
had any place of worship of their own 
iu this town, what few of them there 
were travelling backwards and forwards 
every Sunday to Bromsgrove. The 
first home they acquired here was a 
little room in a small yard at the back 
of 38, High Street (now covered by the 
Market Hall), wdiich was opened Aug. 
24, 1737. In March of the follow- 
ing year a friend left the Particulars 
a sum of money towards erecting a 
meeting-house of their own, and this 
being added to a few sitbscriptions from 
the Coventry Particulars, led to the 
purchase of a little bit of the Cherry 
Orchard, for which £13 was paid. 
Hereon a small chapel was put up, 
with some cottages in front, the rent 
of which helped to pay chapel exj-en- 
ses, and these cottages formed part of 
Cannon Street ; the land at the back 
being reserved for a graveyard. The 
opening of the new chapel gave occa- 
sion for attack; and the minister of the 
New IMeeting, Mr. Bowen, an advo- 
cate of religious freedom, charged the 
Baptists (particular though they were) 
with reviving old Calvinistic doctrines 
and spreading Autinomianismand other 
errors in Birmingham ; with the guile- 
less innocence peculiar to polemical 
scribes, past and present. Mr. Dis- 
senting minister Bowen- tried to do his 
friends iu the Bull Ring a good turn 
by issuing his papers as from " A Con- 
sistent Churchman." In 1763 the 
chapel was enlarged, and at the same 
time a little more land was added to 
the graveyard. In 1780 a further 
enlargement became necessary, which 
sufficed until 1805, when the original 
buildings, including the cottages next 
the street, were taken down to make 
way for the chapel so long known by 
the present inhabitants. During the 
period of demolition and re-erection 



SHOWBM/S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



239 



the Camion Street coDgregalion were 
accommodated at Carr's Lane, Mr. T. 
Morgan and Mr. John Anj^ell Jamrs 
each occupying the pulpit alternately. 
The new chai)el was opened July 16, 
1806, and provided seats for 900, a 
large pew in the gallery ahove the clock 
being allotted to the "string band," 
which was not replaced by an organ 
until 1859. In August", 1876, the 
Corporation purchased the site of the 
chapel, the graveyard, and the adjoining 
houses, in all about 1,000 square yards 
in extent, for ihe sum of £26,500, 
the last Sunday service being held on 
October 5, 1879. Tiie remains of de- 
parted ministers and past members of 
the congregation interred in the burial- 
yard and under the chapel were care- 
fully removed, mostly to Witton 
Cenieteij\ The exact nmuber of inter- 
ments that had taken place in Cannon 
Street has never been stated, but they 
were considerably over 200 ; in one 
vault alone more than forty lead coffins 
being found. The site is now covered 
by the Central Arcade. Almost as old 
as Cannon Street Chapel was the one 
in Freeman Street, taken down in 1856, 
and the next in date was " Old Salem," 
built in 1791, but demolished when the 
Great Western Railway was made. In 
1785 a few members left Cannon Street 
to form a church in Needless Alley, 
but soon removed to Bond Street, under 
Mr. E. Edmonds, father of the well- 
known George Edmonds. — In the year 
1870 filty-tvvo members were "dis- 
missed " to constitute a congrega- 
tion at Newdiall Street Chapel, under 
the Rev. A. O'Neill. — In the same 
way a few began the church in Graham 
Street in 1828. — On Emancipation 
Day (Aug. 1, 1838), the first stone 
was laid of Heneage Street Chapel, 
whicli was opened June 10, 1841. — 
In 1815 a chapel was erected at 
Shirley ; and on Oct. 24, 1849, the 
Circus in Bradford Street was opened 
as a baptist Chapel. Salem Chapel, 
Frederick Street, was opened Sept. 
14, 1851.— Wycliffe Chuich, Biistcl 
Road, wag commenced Nov, 8, 1859, 



and opened June 26, 1861. — Lombard 
Street Chapel was started Nov. 25, 
1864. — Christ Church, Aston, was 
opened April 19, 18G5.— The Chapel 
in Balsall Heath Road was opened in 
March, 1872 ; that in Victoria Street, 
Small Heath, June 24, 1873 ; and in 
Great Francis Street, May 27, 1877. 
When the Cannon Street Chapel was 
demoliihed, the trustees purchased 
Graham Street Chapel and schools for 
the sum of £14,200, other portions of 
the money given by the Corporation 
being allotted towards tlie erection of 
new chapels elsewhere. The Graham 
Street congregation divided, one por- 
tion erecting for themselves the Ciuirch 
of the Redeemer, in Hagley Road, 
(opened May 24, 1882), while these 
living on the Handswortli side built 
a church in Hamstead Road (opened 
March 1, 1883), each building costing 
over £10,000. The first stone of the 
Stratfur^i Read Church (the site of 
which, valued at £1,200, was given by 
Mr. W. Middlemore) was laid on 
the 8th of June, 1878, and the build- 
ing, which cost £7,600, was opened 
Jund 3, 1879. Mr. Middlemore also 
gave the si.e (value £2,200) for the 
Hagley Road Church, £6,000 of the 
Cannon Street money going to it, and 
£3,500 to the Stratford Road Church. 
— The Baptists have alto chapels in 
Guildford Street, Hope Street, Lodge 
Road, Longmore Street, Great King 
Street, Spring Hill, Warwick Street, 
Yates Street, as well as at Erdington, 
Harborne, King's Heath, Selly Oak, 
Quinton, &c. 

Catholic Apostolic Church, Summer 
Hill Terrace. — This edifice, erected in 
1877, cost about £10,000, and has 
seats for 400. 

Christian Brethren. — Their head 
meeting-house is at the Central Hall, 
Great Charles Street, other meetings 
being held in Bearwood Road, Birch- 
field Road, Green Lanes, King Street, 
(Balsall Heath), New John Street, 
\Venman Street, (opened in June, 
1870), and at Aston and Erdington. 



240 



SH DWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



Christadelphians iiieRt at the Tem- 
perance Hall, Temple Street. 

ClMrcJi of the Saviour, Ehvard 
Street. — lUii'lt lor George Dawson on 
his leaving the Ba[.tis1s, the first turf 
being turned on the site July 14, 
1846, ami the opening taking place 
Aug. 8, 1847. 

Congregational. — How the Indepen- 
dents sprang from the Presbyterians, 
and tlie CongregalioiiHlists from them, 
is hardly matter of local history, 
though Carr's Lane Chapel has shel- 
tered them all in rot-ition. Tiie first 
building was put up in 1747-48, and, 
with or-casioual repairs last^rd full fifty 
years, being rebuilt in 1S02, when the 
congregation numbered nearly 900. 
Soon after the advent of the Rev. John 
Angell James, it became necessary to 
proviile accomrnoilation for at least 
2,000, and in 1819 the cliapel was 
again rebuilt in the form so well 
known to the present generation. The 
ra))idity with which this was accom- 
plislied was so startling that the record 
inscribed on the last late affixed to 
the roof is worth quoting, as ^cW on 
account of its bfing somewhat of a 
novel innovation upon the u^ual 
custom of foundation-stone memorial 
stone, and ' first-stone laying and 
fixing : — 

" Memoranda. On the 30f;h day of 
July, 1S19, the tiist stone of this 
building \v;xs laid by tlie Rev. Joiin 
Angell James, the minister. On 
the 301h day of October, in tlie 
same year, this tlie last slate 
w;is lail by lleiiry Leiieve Hol- 
land, the builder, in the presence 
of Stednian Thomas Wliitwell, the 
Architect. — Laus Deo." 

In 1875-76 the chapel was enlargei], 
refronted, and in many ways strength 
ened and improved, at a co^t of nearly 
£5,000, and it nov; has scats for 2,250 
persons. — Ebeuezer Chape), S'eelhouse 
Lane, which will seat 1,200, was 
opened Dec. 9, 1818. Its C'st paj,tor, 
the Rev. Jehoida Brewer, was the first 
to bo buried there.— The first stone of 
Highbury Chapel, which seats 1,300, 
was laid May 1, 1844, and it was 



opened by Dr. Raffles in the following 
October. — Palmer Street Chapel was 
erected in 1845. — The first stone of the 
Congregational Church in Fiancis Road 
was laid Sept. 11, 1855, the opening 
taking ]ilace Oct. 8, 1856.— The first 
stone of ti)e Moseley Road building was 
laid July 30, 1861, and of that in the 
Lozells, March 17, 1862. —The chapel 
at Small Heath was commenced Sept. 
19, 1867, and opened June 21, 1868 ; 
that at S:tltley was began June 30, 
1868, an.i openrd Jan. 26, 1869.— The 
chapel in Park Road, Aston, was began 
Oct. 7, 1873 ; the church on Soho 
Hill, which cost £15,000, was com- 
menced April 9, 1878, and opened 
July 16, 1879. — The memorial-stones 
of the church at Sutton Coldfield, 
which co.st £5,500, and will scat 640, 
were laid July 14, 1879, the opening 
taking place Ajiril 5, 1880 ; the West- 
minster Road (BirchfieUl) Church was 
commenced Oct. 21, 1878, was ojiened 
Sept. 23, 1S79, co.st £5,500, and will 
seat 900 ; botli of these buildings have 
spires IGOft. high.— Tlie foundation- 
stone of a chapel at Solilmll, to accom- 
modate 420, was laid May 23, 1883.— 
Besides the above, there is the Tabernacle 
Chapel, Parade, chapels in Bordesley 
Street, Gooch Street, and St. Andrew's 
Road, and others at Acock's Green, 
Erdington, Handsworth, Olton, Yard- 
le}', &c. 

Dif^ciples of Christ erected a chapel 
in Charles Henry Street in 1864 ; in 
Geich Street in 18d5; in Great Francis 
Street in 1873. 

Free Christian Church, Fazeley 
Street — Schcohoonis were opened here 
in 1865 by the Birmingham Free Chris- 
tian Society, Avhich were enlarged in 
1868 at a cost of about £800. Funds 
to build a church were gathered in suc- 
ceeiUng years and the present edifice 
was opmid April 1, 1877, the cost 
being £1,300. 

Jews. — The Hebrew S3Miagogne in 
Blucher Street was erected in 1856, at 
a cost of £10,000. 

Mehoclists. — The Primitive Metho- 
dists for some time after their first 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



241 



appuarance here held their meetiugs 
in tlie open air or in hired rooms, 
the first chapel they used bein;; 
that in Rordeslej' Street (opened 
March 16, 1823, by the Wesloyans) 
which they entered upon in 1S26. 
Other chapels they had at various times 
in Allison Street, B:illoon Street, Inge 
Street, &c. Gooch Street Chapel was 
erected by tliem at a cost of over £2,000 
(the first stone being laid August 23, 
1852) and is now their principal place of 
worship, their services being also eon- 
ducted in Chapels and Mis -ion Rooms 
in Aston New Town, Garrison Lane, 
Long Acre, Lord Street, Morville 
Street, Wells Street, Whitmore Street, 
The Cape, Selly Oak, Perry Barr, 
Sparkbrook, and Stirchley Street. — 
The Methodist New Connexion have 
chapels in Heath Street, Kyrwick's 
Lane, Ladywood Lane, Moseley Street, 
and Unetl Street — Tlie first stone of a 
chapel for the Methodist New Congrega- 
tional body was placed July 13, 1873, 
in Icknield S:reet West. — The Metho- 
dist Ile/onners commenced to build a 
chapel in Bishop Street, November 15, 
1852. — The Methodist Free Church has 
places of worship in Bath Street, 
Cuckoo Road, Muntz Street, Rocky 
Lane, and at Washwood Heath. 

Ncio Church. — The denomination of 
profe.ssing Christians, who style them- 
selves the "New Church," sometimes 
known as "The New Jerusalem 
Church," and more commonly as 
" Swedenborgians," as early as 1774 
had a meeting room in Great Charles 
Street, from whence they removed to 
a larger one in Temple Row. Here 
they remained until 1791, when they 
took possession of Zion Chapel, 
Newhall Street, the ceremony of 
consecration taking place on the 
19 of June. This event was of 
more than usual interest, inasmuch 
as this edifice was the fir.st ever 
erected in the world for New Church 
worship. The rioters of 1791, who 
professed to support the National 
Church by demolishing the Dissenting 
places of worship, paid Zion Chapel a 



visit and threatened to burn it, but 
the eloquence of the minister, the Rev. 
J. Proud, aided by a juilicious distribu- 
tion of what cash he had in his 
pocket, prevaled over tlieir burning 
desires, and they carried their torches 
elsewhere. On the 10th of March, 
1793, however, another incendiary at- 
tempt was made to suppress tlie New 
Church, but the fire was put out before 
much damage was done. Wliat fire 
and popularenmity could not do, how- 
ever, was accomplished by a financial 
crisis, and the congregation had to 
leave their Zion, and put up with a 
less pretentious place of worship op- 
posite the Wiiarfin Newhall Street. 
Here they remained till 1S30, when 
they removed to Summer Lane, where 
a commodious church, large schools, 
and minister's house had been erected 
for them. \i\ 1875 tlie congregation 
removed to their present location in 
Wretham Road, where a handsome 
church has been built, at a cost of 
nearly £8,000, to accommodate 500 
persons, with schools in the rear for as 
many children. The old chapel in 
Summer Lane has been turned into a 
Clubhouse, and the schools attached 
to it made over to the School Board. 
The New Church's new church, like 
many other modern-built places for 
Dissenting worship, has tower and 
spire, the height being 116ft. 

Presbyterians. — It took a long time 
for all the nice distinctive diflerences 
of dissenting belief to manifest them- 
selves before the public got used to 
Unitarianism, Congregationalism, and 
all the other isms into which Noncon- 
formity has divided itself. When 
Birmingham was as a city of refuge for 
the many clergymen M'ho would not 
accejit the Act of Uniformity, it was 
deemed right to issue unto them 
licenses for preaching, and be- 
fore the first Baptist chapel, or the New 
Meeting, or the Old Meeting, or the 
old Old Meeting (erected in 1689), were 
built, we find (1G72) that one Samuel 
Willis, styling himself a minister of 
the Presbyterian persuasion, appliel 



242 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIUMINGHAM. 



for preacViiiig licenses for the scltool- 
house, and for the houses of John 
Wall, and Jos-eph Robinson, and 
Samuel Taylor, and Samuel Doole}", 
and John Hunt, all the same being 
in Birmingham; and "William Fincher, 
another '' minister of tlie Pres- 
byterian persuasion," asked for licenses 
to preach in the liouse of Richard 
Yarnald, in Birmingham, his own 
house, and in the houses of Thomas 
Gisboon, William Wheeley, John Pem- 
berton, and Richard Careless, in Bir- 
mingham, and in the house of Mrs. 
Yarriugton, on Bowdswell Heath. In 
Bradford's map (1751) Carr's Lane 
chapel is put as a " Presbiterian 
chapel," the New Meeting Street 
building close by being called 
Presbiterian Meeting." It was of this 
'Presbiterian Chapel " in Carr's Lane 
that JIutton wrote when he said it ivas 
the road to heaven, but that its sur- 
roundings indicated a very different 
route. Perhaps it was due to these 
surroundings tliat the attendants at 
Carr's Lane came by degrees to be 
called Independents and the New Meet- 
ing Street folks Unitarians, for both 
after a time ceased to be known as 
Presbyterians The Scotch Church, 
or, as it is sometimes styled, the Pres- 
byterian Church of England, is not a 
large body in Birmingham, having but 
three places of worship. Tlie iirst 
Presbytery lield in this town was on 
July 6, 1847 ; the foundation-stone 
of the Church in Broad Street was 
laid July 24, 1848 ; the Church at 
Camp Hill was opened June 3, 1869 ; 
and the one in New John Street 
West was liegan July 4, 1856, and 
opened June 19, 1857. 

Salvation Army. — The invasion of 
Birniinghaui by the soldiers of the Sal- 
vation Ai'my was accomplished in the 
autumn of 1882, the General (Mr. 
Booth) putting in anai)pcarance March 
18, 1883. They have several rendez- 
vous in the town, one of the principal 
being in Faiiu Street, from wlience the 
"soldiers" frequently sally out, with 
drums beating and colours flying, much 



to their own glorincation and other 
people's annoyance. 

Unitarians. — The building known 
for generations as the Old Meeting, is 
believed to liave been the liist Dissent- 
ing place of worship erected in Birm- 
ingham ; and, as its tirst register dates 
from 1689, the chapel most likely was 
built in the previousyear. Itwasdoubt- 
les3 but a small building, as in about 
ten years (1699) a "Lower Meeting 
House" was founded in Meeting House 
Yard, nearly opposite Rea Street. The 
premises occupied here were gutted in 
the riots of 1715, and the owner pro- 
mised the mob tliat it should no more 
be used as a chapel, but when calmer 
he repented and services were held 
until the New Meeting House in Moor 
Street was opened. The rioters in 
1715 partly destroyed the old Meeting 
and those of 1791 did so completely, 
as well as the New Meeting, which (be- 
gan in 1730) was opened in 1732. For 
a time the congregations united and 
met at the Amphitheatre in Livery 
Stieet, the members of Old Meet- 
ing taking posses-ion of their re- 
erected chapel, October 4, 1795. 
New Meeting being re-opened April 
22, 1802. The last-named building re- 
mained in tlie possession of the Uni- 
tarians until 1861, when it was sold to 
the Roman Catholics. The last ser- 
vices in Old Meeting took place March 
19, 1882, the chapel and graveyard, 
comprising an area of 2,760 square 
yards, being sold to the L. & N.W.R. 
Co., for the purpose of enlarging the 
Central Station. Tiie price paid by 
the Railway Company was £32,250, 
of which £2,000 was for tlie minister 
and £250 towards the expense of re- 
moving to private vaults the remains 
of a few persons whose friends wished 
that course. A portion of Witton 
Cemeteiy was laid out for the 
reception of the remainder, where 
graves and vaults have been made 
in relative positions to those in the 
old graveyard, the tombstones being 
similarly placed. A new church has 
been erected in Bristol Street for the 



SllOWELL.S DICTIONARY OK BIHMIN'GHAM. 



243 



congregation, with Sunday Schools, 
&c., £7,000 boiiig tlio sum given fir the 
t^ite— In 1839, Hurst Street Chapel 
was built for tlie Unitarian Domestic 
Mission. Slay 1, same year, tlie first 
stone was laid of tlie Newhall Hill 
Chape , which was opened July 10, 
1810.— The Church of the Alts^iah, 
Bread Street, was commenced Aug. 12, 
1860, and opened Jan. 1, 1862. This 
church, which cost £10,000 and wiil 
seat nearly 1,000 is built over a canal, 
one of the strangest sites ever chosen 
for a place of worship. In coiineetion 
witli this church, there is a chapel in 
Lawrence Street. 

JFelsh Clmpcls. —The Welsh Calvinis- 
tic Metliodists meet in the little chapel, 
bottom of Hocklfy Hill, and also in 
Granville Street, mar Bull Row.^The 
Welsh Congregationtilists (IndopiMi- 
dents) assemble at Wheeler Street 
Chapel, opened May 1, 1839. 

JVesleyans. — The first Wesleyan 
Chapel in Birmiugliara was opened bv 
John Wesley, March 21, 1761, the 
building having been previously a 
theatre. Cheiry Street Chapel, 

opened July 7, 1782, was rebuilt 
iu 1823. — Bradford Street Chapel was 
opened in 1786, Belmont Row in 1789, 
and Bath Street in 1839.— In 1825, a 
chapel was built in Martin Street, 
which was converted into a school on 
the opening (Nov. 10, 1864) of the 
l)reseut edidce, which cost £6,200. — 
Newtown Row Chapel was built in 
1837) and Great Hampton Street and 
Uiiett Street Chapels in 1838, the 
latter being enlarged in 1814.- — Bran- 
ston Street Chapel was opentd April 
18, and MoseleyKoad, May 1, 1853.-- 
Tlie Bristol Road Chajjel was opened 
January 18, 1854, and that in King 
Edward's Road, January IS, 1859. — 
The first stones were laid for the 
chapels in Villa Street April 21, 1864, 
Handsworth Oct. 21, 1872, Selley Oak 
Oct 2, 1876, Peel Street, August 30, 
1877, Cuckoo Road, Juxie 10, 1878, 
Nechells Park Road Oct. 25, 1880, 
Mansfield Road Feb. 19, 1883. Besides 
the above there are chapels in Coventry 



Road, Inge Street, Knutsford Street, 
Lichfield Road, Lord Street, New John 
Street, Monument Road, and Warwick 
Road, as well as mission rooms in 
several parts of the town and suburbs. 
Acock's Grt-en, Erdington, Harborne, 
King's Heath, Northlield, Quinton, 
&c. . have also AVcsleyan Chapels. — 
The JVeslcyan Reformers meet in 
Floodgate Street, and in Upper Trinity 
Street. 

Miscellaneous. — Lady Huntingdon's 
followers opened a chapel in King 
Street in 1785, and another iu Peck 
Lane in 1842 (both sites being cleared 
in 1851), and a third in Gooch Street, 
Oct. 26tli, 1851. — The believers in 
Joannah Siuthcote also had. chosen 
spots wherein to pray for their leader, 
while the imposture lasted. — The 
celebrat d Ed waul Irving op.Mied 
Mount Zion Chapel, March 24th, 1824. 
" God'.s Free Cliurch," iu Hope Street, 
was "established" June 4th. 185i. — 
Zoar Cliapel was the name given to a 
meeting-room in Cambridge Street, 
where a few undenominational Chris- 
tians met between 1830 and 1840. 
It was afterwards used as a schoolroom 
in connection with Wintield's factory. 
— Wrottesley Street Ciiapel was origi- 
n.illy built as a Jewish Synagogue, at 
a cost of about 2,000. After they left 
it was used, for a variety of purposes, 
until acquired by William Murphy, 
the Anti-Catholic lecturer. It was 
sold by his executors, Aug. 2nd, 1877, 
and realised £645, le.ss than the cost 
of the bricks and mortar, though the 
lease had 73 years to run. 

Places of Worship. — iioman 

Catholics. — From the tlays of Queen 
Mary, down to the last years of James 
II. 's reign, there does not appear to 
have been any regular meeting-place 
for the Catholic Inhabitants of Birm- 
ingham. In 1687, a church (dedicated 
to St. ilary Magdalen and St. Francis) 
was built somewhere near the site of 
the present St. Bartholomew's but it 
was destroyed in the following year, 
and the very foundation-stones torn 
up and appropriated by Protestant 



244 



SHOWELliS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



plunderers. [See " Masbhotose Lane."] 
It was a liundred years before 
the next church, St. Peter's, near 
Broad Street, was erected, and the 
Catholic community has increased but 
slowly until the last thirty years or 
so. In 1S4S there were only seven 
priests in Ijirniinj^hani, and but seventy 
in the whole diocese. There are now 
twenty-nine in this town, and about 
200 in the district, the number of 
churches having increased, in the same 
period, from 70 to 123, with 150 
schools and 17,000 scholars. The 
following are local places of wor- 
ship : — 

Cathedral of St. Chad. — A chapel 
dedicated to St. Chad (who was about 
the only saint the kingdom of Mercia 
could boast of), wa.s ojieued in Bath 
Street, Dee. 17, 1809. When His 
Ho iness the Pope blessed his Catholic 
children hereabouts with a Bishop the 
insignificant chapel gave place to a 
Cathedral, which, built after the 
designs of Pugin, cost no less than 
£60,000. The consecration was per- 
formed (July 14, 1838) by the Right 
Rev. Doctor (afterwards Cardinal) 
Wiseman, the district Bishop, in the 
presence of a lai-ge number of English 
noblemen and foreign ecclesiastical 
dignitaries, and with all the impos'ng 
ceremonies customary to Catholic cele- 
brations of this nature. The adjoin- 
ing houses detract much from the 
outside appearance of this reproduction 
of mediffival architecture, but the 
magnificence of the interior decora- 
tions, the elaborate carvings, and the 
costly accessories appertaining to the 
services of the Romish Church more 
than compensate therefor. Pugin's 
plans have not even yet been fully 
carried out, the second spire, that on 
the north tower (150ft. high), being 
added in 1856, the largest he designed 
still waiting completion. Five of a 
peal of eight bells were hung in 1848, 
and the remainder in 1877, the peculiar 
and locally-rare ceremony of "blessing 
the bells " being performed by Bishop 
Ullathorne, March 22nd, 1877. 



Oratory, Hagley Road — Founded by 
the Fathers of the Order of St. Philip 
Neri, otherwise called Oratorians. The 
Father Superior is the Rev. Dr. J. H. 
Newman (born in 1801), once a clergy- 
man of the Church of Phigland, the 
author of the celebrated " Tract XC. ," 
now His Eminence Cardinal Newman. 

St. Anne's, Alcester Street. — In 
1851, some buildings and premises 
originally used as a distillery were hei-e 
taken on a lease by the Su])erior of the 
Oratory, and opened in the following 
}'ear asa Jlission-Church in connection 
Avith the Congregation of the Fathers 
in Hagley Road. In coursn cf time 
the property was purchased, along with 
some adjacent land, for the sum of 
£4,500, and a new church has been 
erected, at a cost of £6,000. The 
foundation-stone was laid Sept. 10th, 
1883, and the opening ceremony took 
place in Jul_y, 1884, the old cliapel and 
buildings being turned into schools for 
about 1,500 children. 

St. Catherine of Sienna, Horse Fair. 
— The first stone was laid Aug. 23, 
1869, and the cimrch was opened in 
July following. 

St. Joseph's, Nechells, was built in 
1850, in connection with the Roman 
Catholic Cemetery. 

St. Mary's, Hunter's Lane, was 
opened July 28, 1847. 

St. Mary's Ret) eat, Harbonie, was 
founded by the Passionist Fathers, and 
opened Feix 6, 1877. 

,5';!. MicJiaeVs, Moor Street, was for- 
merly the Unitarian New Meeting, 
being purchased, remodelled, and con- 
secrated in 1861. 

St. Patrick's, Dailley Road, was 
erected in 1862. 

St. Peters, Broad Street, built in 
1786, and enlarged in 1798, was the 
first Catholic place of worship erected 
here after the sack and demolition of 
the church and convent in Massliouse 
Lane. With a lively recollection of 
the treatmentdealtout totheirbrethren 
in 1688, the founders of St. Peter's 
trusted as little as possible to the 
tender mercies of their fellow-towns- 



SnoWELLS DICTIONARY OF BlUMINGHAM. 



245 



men, but protected themselves by so 
aiTaii<:;in(>; their churcli that notliing 
but blank walls should face the streets, 
and with the exception of a doorway 
the wails remained unpierced for nearly 
seventy years. Tlie church has lately 
been much enlarged, and th« long- 
standing rebuke no more exists. 

In addition to the above, there are 
the Convents of "The Sisters of the 
Holy Child," in Hagley Road; "Sisters 
of Notre Dame," in the Crescent ; 
" Little Sisters of the Poor," at Har- 
borne ; " Our Lady of Mercy," at 
Handsworth ; and others connected 
with St. Anne's and St. Chad's, be- 
sides churches at Erdington, &c. 

Police. — Though the Court Leet 
provided for the appointment of con- 
stables, no regular body of police or 
watchmen appear to liave existed even 
a hundred years ago. Li February, 
1786, the magistrates employed men to 
nightly patrol the streets, but it could 
not have been a permanent arrange- 
ment, as we read that the patrol was 
" resumed " in October, 1793, and later 
on, in March, 1801, the magistrates 
■ ' solicited " the inhabitants' consent to 
a reappointment of the night-watch. 
After a time the Commissioners of the 
Streets kept regular watchmen in their 
employ — the "Charleys" occasionally 
read of as finding sport for the "young 
bloods " of the time — but when serious 
work was required the Justices appear 
to have depended on their jioweis of 
swearing-in special constables. The 
introduction of apolice forceproperdates 
from the riotous time of 1839 [See 
"C7tnr<i'srrt"], for immediately after those 
troublous days Lord John Russell in- 
troduced a Bill to the House of Com- 
mons granting special powers for en- 
forcing a rate to maintain a police 
force here, under tlie command of a 
Commissioner to be appointed by the 
Government. The force thus sought 
to be raised, though paid for by the 
people of Birmingham, were to be 
available for tlie whole of the counties 
of Warwick, Worcester and Stafford. 



Coercive measures were passed at that 
period even quicker than Government 
can manage to got them through now a- 
days, and notwithstanding Jlr. Thos. 
Attwood's telling Little Lord John 
that he was '" throwing a lighted torch 
into a magazine of gunpowder" and 
that if he ]iassed that Bill he would 
never be allowed to pass another, the 
Act w^as pushed through on the 13th of 
August, there being a majority of 
thirteen in favour of his Lordship's 
policy of policeing the Brums 
into politeness. The dre;ided police 
force was soon organised under 
Mr. Commissioner Burges (who was 
paid the small salary of £900 a year), 
and became not only tolerated but 
value ]. It was not till some years 
after, and then in the teeth of much 
opposition, that the Corporation suc- 
ceeded in getting into their own hands 
the power of providing our local guar- 
dians of the peace. JMr. Inspector Ste- 
phens was the first Chief Superinten- 
dent, and in March, 1860, his place 
was filled by the promotion of Mr. 
George Glossop. In April, 1876, the 
latter retired on an allowance of £400 
a year, and Major Bond w\s chosen 
(June 2nd). The Major's term of office 
was short as he resigned in Dec. 1881. 
Mr. Farndale being appointed in his 
stead. In May, 1852, the force con- 
sisted of 327, men and officers included. 
Additions have been made from time 
to time, notiibly 50 in August, 1875, 
and 30 early in 1883, the total rank 
and file now being 550, equal to one 
officer for every 700 of population. 
February 8, 1876, the unpopular Pub- 
lic-house Inspector.-! were apjiointed, 
but two years' experience showed thej' 
were not wanted, and they were rele- 
gated to their more useful duties 
of looking after thieves and pick- 
pockets, instead of poking their noses 
into piivate business. In 1868, £200 
was expended in the purchasA of guns, 
pistols, and swords for the police 
and officers at the Gaol. The Watch 
Committee, in May, 1877, improved 



246 



SHOWELl's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



the unifoini by .supplying the men with 
" spiked " helmets, doubtless to please 
the Major, who liked to see his men 
look smart, tlioucjh the military ap- 
pearance of the force has been greatly 
improved since by the said spikes being 
silvered and burnished. 

Political Union.— See '' R-iform 

Lei (J lies." 

Polling DiStPietS.— The sixteen 
wards of the boi'ou:,'h are divided into 
131 polling disliic s. 

Polyteehnie. — This was one of 
the many local literary, .scientilic, 
and educational institutions which 
have been re}ilaced by our Midland 
Institute, Free Libraries, &c. It was 
founded in April, and opened in Octo- 
ber, 1843, and at the close of its first 
year there were the names of very 
nearly 500 iiiembers on the hooks, the 
rates of subscription being 6s. per 
quarter for participation in all the 
benefits of the institution, including 
the lectures, library, classes, baths, &c. 
With the " People's Instruction So- 
ciety," the " Atlienic Institute," the 
" Carr's Lane Brotherlj^ Society" 
(said to have been the iirst ]\Iechanics' 
Institution in Britain), the Polytech- 
nic in its dny, did good work. 

Poor Law and Poor Rates- 
Local history does not tlnow much 
light upon the system adopted by our 
early progenitors in their dealings witli 
the poor, but if the merciless laws were 
strictly carried out, the wandering beg- 
gars, at all events mu^t have had hard 
lives of it B3' an a3t passed in the 
reign of Henry VIII., it was ordered 
that vagrants should be taken to a mar- 
ket town, or other convenient ]daceand 
there to be tied to the tail of a cart, 
naked, and beaten with whijis until 
the body .'•■hould bo blood}' by reason 
of tlie punishment. Queen Elizabeth 
so far mitig-ited the punishment that 
the unfortunates were only to be 
stripped from the waist upwards to re- 
ceive their whi|iping, men aud women, 
maids and mothers, suffering alike in 



the open street or market-place, the 
practice being, after so rising them, to 
conduct them to the boundary of the 
parish and pass them on to the next 
place for another dose, aud it wa? not 
until 1791 that flogging of women was 
forbidden. The resident or native 
poar were possibly treated a little 
better, though they were made to work 
for their brea<l in every possible case. 
By the new Poor Act of 1783, which 
authorised the erection of a Work- 
house, it was also provided that the 
"Guardians of the Poor" .should form 
a l)oard consisting of 106 members, 
and the election of the first Board 
(July 15th, 1783), seems to have 
been almost as exciting as a 
modern election. In one sense of 
the word they were guardians in- 
deed, for they seem to have tried theij' 
inventive faculties in all ways to find 
w'ork for the inmates of the House, 
even to hiring them out, or setting 
them to make worsted and thread 
The Guardians would also seem to have 
long had great freedom allowed them 
in the spending of the rates, as we read 
it was not an uncommon thing for one 
of them if he met a poor person bidly 
off for clothes to give an order on the 
Workhouse for a Iresh ''rig out." In 
1873 the Board was reduced to sixtj' in 
number (the first election taking place 
on the 4th of April), with the usual 
local result that a proper political 
balance was struck of 40 Liberals to 20 
Conservatives. The Workhouse, Parish 
Offices, Children's Homes, &c., will be 
noted elsewhere. Poor law manage- 
ment in tlie bor3U,i;h is greatly compli- 
cated from the fact of its comprising 
two different parishes, and part of a 
third. The Parish of Birmingham 
works under a speci-al local Act, while 
E Igbaston forms part of King's Norton 
Union, and tlie Aston porti n of the 
town belongs to the Aston Union, ne- 
cessitating three different rates and 
three sets of collectors, &c. If a poor 
man in Moseley Road needs assistance 
he must see the relieving officer at the 
Parish Offices in the centre of the town 



SHOWELl/s DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



247 



if he lives on one side of Higligite Lane 
lie must find the relieving ollicer at 
King's Heith ; bnt if he happens to b3 
on the o'her side he will have to go 
to Gravelly Hill or Erdington. Not 
long ago to obtain a visit from the 
medical officer for his sick wife, a 
man had to go backwards and 
forwards more than twenty miles. 
The earliest record we have found of 
the cost of relieving the poor of the 
j)arish is of tlie date of 1673 in which 
year the sum of £309 was thus ex- 
pended. In 1773 the amount was 
£6,378, bat the pressure on the rates 
varied considerably about then, as in 
1786 it required £11,132, whileinl796 
the figures rose to £24,050. Accord- 
ing to Hutton, out of about 8,000 
houses only 3,000 were assessed to the 
poor rates in 1780, the inhabitants of 
the remaining number being too poor to 
pay them. Another note shows up the 
peculiar incidence of taxation of the 
time, as it is said that in 1790 there 
were nearly 2000 houses under £5 ren- 
tal and 8,000 others under £10, none 
of them being assesseii, such small 
tenancies being first rated in 1792. 
The rates then appear to have been 
levied at the uniform figure of 6d. in 
the £ on all houses above £6 yearly 
value, the ratepayers being called upon 
as the money was required — in and 
about 1798, the collector making his 
appearance sixteen or eighteen times 
in the course of the year. The Guar- 
dians were not so chary in the matter 
of out relief as they a'e at present, for 
in 1795 there were at one period 2,427 
families (representing over 6,000 per- 
sons, ohl and young) receiving out- 
relief. What this system (and bad 
trade) led to at the close of the long 
war is shown in the returns for 1816-17, 
when 36 poor rates were levied in the 
tw Ivemonth. By various Acts of Par- 
liament, the Overseers have now t) 
collect other rates, but the jiroportion 
required for the poor is thus shown : — 



Year, cs . 



■<o 



O 



= 0^2-3 = 5 



s. d £ & £ & 

1S51 ..4 0.. 78,796.. 39,573. .17,824. .21,399 

1.S61 ..3 6.. S5,936.. 33,4t3. ..S4.Gri5. .14,878 

!871 ..3 2.. 116,268.. 44,293. .37,104. .34,871 

ISSl ..4 8.. 198,458. .107,.i20.. 42,880.. 48,058 

The amounts paid over to the Corpora- 
tion inclu'ie the borough rate and the 
sums re(piired by the School Board, the 
Free Libraries, and the Di-trict Drain- 
age Board. In future years the poor- 
rate (so-called) will include, in addition 
to these, all other rates levyable by the 
Corporation. The ()oor-ratf\s are levied 
half-yearly, and in 1848, 1862, and 1868 
they amounted to 5s. per year, the 
lowest during the last fortv years being 
3s. in 1860 ; 1870, 1871', and 1872 
being the next lowest, 3s. 2d. per year. 
The number of parsons receiving relief 
may be gathered from the following 
figures : — 

Highest No. Lowest No. 

Year. daily daily. 

1S76 7,687 7,0.58 

1877 8,240 7,377 

187S S,S77 7,242 

1879 14,651 8,829 

1SS3 : 13,195 7,50(5 

1S81 11,064 7,183 

18S2 9,658 7,462 

1SS3 8,347 7,630 

Not long ago it was said that among 
the inmates of the Workhouse were 
several women of 10 to 45 who had 
spent all their lives there, not even 
knowing their way into the town. 

Population. — Hutton " calcu- 
lated " tliat about the year 750 there 
would be 3.000 inhabitants residing 
in and close to Birmingham. Unless 
a very rapid thinning process was 
going on after that date he must have 
been a long way out of his reckoning, 
for the Domesdav Biok givei but 63 
residents in 108o for Birmingham, 
Aston, and Edgbaston. In 1555 we 
find that 37 baptisms, 15 weddings, 
and 27 deaths were registered at St. 
Mirtin's, the houses not being more 
than 700, nor the occupiers over 3,500 



248 



SHOWBLLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



in number. In 1650, it is said, there 
were 15 streets, about 900 houses, and 
5,472 inhabitants. If ^,he writer who 
made that calculation was correct, the 
next SO years must have been " days 
of progress " indeed, for in 1700 tlie 
town is said to have included 28 
streets, about 100 courts and alleys, 
2,504 houses, one church, one chapel, 
and two meeting-houses, with 15,032 
inhabitants. In 1731 there were 55 
streets, about 150 courts and alleys, 
3,719 houses, two churches, one chapel, 
four Dissenting meeting-houses, and 
23,286 inhabitants. The remaining 
figures, being taken from census re- 
turns and other reliable authorities, 
are more satisfactory. 

Year. Inhabitants. Houses. 

1741 24,6(50 4,114 

1773 30,804 7,309 

177s 48,252 8,042 

1781 50,295 8,382 

1791 73,053 12,C';i 

1801 78,760 16,659 

1811 85,755 19,096 

1821 106,721 21,345 

1831 142,251 29,397 

1841 182,922 36,238 

1851 232,841 48,894 

1861 296,076 62,70s 

1871 343,787 77,40!t 

1881 400,774 84,263 

The inhabitants are thus divided as 
to sexes : 

Year. Males. Females. Totals. 
1861 ....143,996 ....152,080 . ..296,076 

1871 167,636 176,151 3*3,787 

1881 ....194,540 ....206,234 .. ..400,774 

The increase during the ten years in 
the several parts of the borough shows : 
Part of 
Birmingham Edgbaston Aston in 

parish. yiarish. borongli. Totals. 
1881 .. 246,352 .. 22,778 .. 131,644 .. 400,774 
1871 .. 231,015 .. 17,442 .. 95,330 .. 343,787 

Increase 15,337 5,33S 36,314 56,987 
These figures, however, are t ot satis- 
factorilv correct, as they simply give 
the totals for the borough, leaving out 
manj' persons who, thouirh residing 
outside the boundaries are 'o all intents 
and purposes 15irniinghatn people ; and 
voluminous as census papers usually 
are, it is dillicult from those of 1871 
to arrive at the proper number, the 



districts not being subdivided suffi- 
ciently. Thus, in the following table, 
Handsworth includes Soho and Perry 
Barr, Harborne parish includes Smeth- 
wick, Balsall Heath is simply the Local 
included district, while King's Norton 
Board is Moseley, Selly Oak, &c. 

Places. Inhabitants. 

Aston Parish 139,998 

Aston Manor 33,948 

Balsall Heath 13,615 

Handsworth .. 16,042 

Harborne Parish 22,263 

Harborne Township . 5,105 

King's Norton Parish ... 21,845 

Yardley Parish 5,360 

For the census of 1881, the papers 
were somewhat differently arranged, 
and we are enabled to get a nearer 
approximation, as well as a better 
notion of the increase that has taken 
place in the number of inhabitants in 
our neighbourhood. 

Place. 1871 1881 

Acock's Green ... 1,492 ... 2,796 

Aston Manor ... 33,948... 53,844 

Aston Parish ... 139,993 .. 201,287 

Aston Union ... 146,808 ... 209,869 

Balsall Heath ... 13,615 ... 22,734 

Birchtield 2,544 ... 3,792 

Castle Bromwich 689 ... 723 

Erd'ngton 4,883 ... 7,153 

Handsworth ... 16,042 ... 22,903 

Harborne 5,105 ... 6,433 

King's Heatli ... 1,982... 2,984 

King's Norton ... 21,845 ... 34,178 
King's Norton 

Union ... 96,143 

Knowle 1,371 ... 1,514 

Moseley 2,374 ... 4,224 

Northfield 4,609 ... 7,190 

Olton .. 906 

Perry Barr 1,683 ... 2,314 

Quinton 2,010 ... 2,145 

Saltley ... 6,419 

Selly Oak 2,854 ... 5,089 

Smetliwick 17,158 ... 25,076 

Solihull 3,739 ... 5,301 

Ward End ... 866 

Water Orton ... ... 396 

Witton 182 ... 265 

Yardley 5,360 ... 9,741 



SHOWELLS DICTIOXARY OF BIKMINGHAM. 



249 



The most remarkable increase of 
poinilation in any of these districts is 
in the case of A.ston Manor, wliere in 
fifty years the inhabitants liave in- 
creased from le^s than one thousand to 
considerably more than fifty thousand. 
In 1831, there were 946 : in 1841, the 
number was 2,847 ; in 1851 it was 
6,429 : in 1861 it reached 16,337 ; in 
1871 it had doubled to 33,948 ; in 1881 
there were 53,844. Incluiled among 
the inhabitants of the borough in 1881 
there were 



Females. Totals. 



859 . 


. 2,147 


3.584 


. 7,072 


7.55 


. 1.667 


1,742 . 


. 3,317 


477 . 


905 


21 . 


50 



Males. 

Foreigners .... 1,288 

Irish 3,488 

Scotch 912 

Welsh 1,.575 

Colonial 428 

Born at sea. ... 29 



Of the English-born subjects of Her 
Majesty here 271.845 were Warwick- 
shire lails and la-ises, 26,625 came out 
of Staffordshire, 21,504 from Worces- 
tershire, 10,158 from Gloucestershire, 
7,941 from London, 5,622 from Slirop- 
shire, and 4,256 from Lancashire, ail 
the other counties being more or less re- 
presented. The following analj'sis of 
the occupations of the inhabitants of 
the borough is copied from the Daily 
Post, and is arranged under the groups 
adopted by the Registrar- General : — • 
Occuiiations of Persons. 

Males. Females. Total. 

Persons engaged in 
general or local gov- 
ernment ". ... 1,145 79 1,224 

Army and navy 307 — 307 

Cleiical profession 
and their subr)idin- 
ates 237 98 335 

Legal ditto 445 — 445 

Medical ditto 336 496 832 

Teachers 512 1,395 1,907 

r,iterary and scientific 70 4 74 

Engineers and sur- 
veyors Ill — 111 

Artists, art-workers 
musicians, &c 729 398 1,127 

Engaged in exliibi- 
tions, shows, games, 
&.C 102 17 119 

Domestic service 1,444 13,875 15,319 

Other service 176 4,058 4,234 

Commercial occupa- 
tions 0,172 422 6,594 



Males. Females. Total 

Engaged in convey- 
ance of men, goods, 
and mes.sages 9,442 1,839 11,231 

Engaged in agiicul- 
ture 881 25 906 

Engaged about ani- 
mals 771 5 770 

Workers and Dealers 
in Books, prints, 
and maps 1,888 428 2,316 

Machines and imple- 
ments 11,189 3,385 l'),574 

Houses, furniture, an<l 
decorations 12,781 1,209 13,990 

Carnages and harness 2,748 466 3,214 

Ships and boats 67 — 67 

Chemicals and their 

compounds -507 250 757 

Tobacco and pipes. .. . 200 351 551 

Food and lodging ... . 8,126 2,121 10,247 

Textile fabrics 1,229 920 2,149 

Dress 6,894 12,946 19,840 

Various animil sub- 
stances 1,431 744 2,175 

Ditto vegetable sub- 
stances 2,277 2,237 4,514 

Ditto mineral sub- 
stances 36,933 9,582 46,515 

General or unspeci- 
fred commodities.... 10,542 2,631 13,1T3 

Refuse matters 246 18 264 

Without specified occu- 
pations 45,691 116,892 162,583 

Children under live 

years 28,911 29,133 5S,044 

Total 194,540 200,234 400,774 



The comparative population of thi.'^ 
and other largo towns in England is 
tluis "iven : — 



Lcindoii .... 
Liverpool... 
Birmingham 
Manchester. 
Salford .... 

Leeds 

Shetlleld . . 
Bristol .... 
Bradford .. 
Nottingham 

Hull 

Newcastle... 
Portsmouth 
Leicester . . 

Oldham 

Sunderland. 
Brighton .. 
Norwich . . 
W'lvrhmptn 
Plymouth. . 



Pop. 
1881. 
3,707,130 
519 834 
400,774 
364.445 
194,077 
326,158 
312,943 
217,185 
203 544 
177,934 
152,981) 
151 822 
136.671 
134,3.50 
119,658 
118,927 
109,062 
86,437 
76,8.50 
7.5,700 



Pop. 

1871. 

3,254.260 

4y3 305 

343,787 

351,139 

124,801 

259,212 

239,9-16 

182,552 

145,850 

86,621 

121,892 

128,443 

113,5f.9 

95,220 

82 629 

98 242 

90,011 

80,386 

68,291 

68.758 



Inc. Pr cnt 
of inc. 
452,870 1389 
56,429 11-35 
.56,893 16-5-' 
13,256 
69,276 



3-70 
564 



66,946 25-81 

72997 30-38 

24,633 13 47 

.57,614 39-50 
91,343105-81 

31.088 25-62 

23,379 17-96 

23,102 20-35 

39,130 41-0.'i 

37,029 45-11 

20,6S5 90-40 

19,051 21-11 

0,051 7-50 

8,569 12-48 

4,942 7-10 



250 



SHOWBLL's dictionary of BIRMINGHAM. 



Portugal House. —See ''The 

Royal." 

Post Offices.— Charles I. must be 
credited with fuuidiiig the present 
Post Office system, as in 1635 he com- 
manded that a runniiif; post or two 
should be settled "to nin night and 
day between London and Edinburgh, 
to go thither and come back again in 
six days, and to take with them all 
such letters as shall be directed to any 
post town in or near that road." 
Other "running posts" were arranged 
to Exeter and Ply month, and to Chester 
and Holyhead, &c., and gradually all 
the principal places in the country 
were linked on to the maiH routes by 
direct and cross posts. It has often 
been quoted as a token of Hie insignifi- 
cance of Birmingham that letters used 
to be addressed " Birniiugliam, near 
Walsall ;" but possibly the necessity 
of some writer having to send here by 
a cross-country route, via Walsall, will 
explain the matter. That our town 
was not one of the last to be pro vi led 
with mails is proved by Robert Girdler, 
a resident of Edgbaston Street in 1652, 
being appointed the Government post- 
mastlir. Where the earlier post offices 
were situated is uncertain, but one was 
opened in New Street Oct. 11, 1783, 
and it is generally believed to hive 
been the same that existed for so many 
years at the corner of Bennett's Hill. 
As late as 1820 there was no Bennett's 
Hill, for at that time the site opposite 
the Theatre was occupied (on the side 
nearest to Temple Street) by a rick- 
yard, with accommodation for the 
mailcoaches and stabling for horses. 
Next to this yard was the residence of 
Mr. Gottwaltz, the postmaster, the 
entrance doorway being at first the 
only accommodation allowed to the 
public, and if more than four persons 
attended at one time the others had to 
stand in the street. When Bennett's 
Hill was laid out, the post office was 
l^liglltlv altered. So as to give a covered 
approach on that side to the letterbox 
and window, the mailcoaches bsmg 
provided and horsed by the hotelkeepers 



to whom the conveyance of the mails 
was entrusted, the mail-guards, or 
mail-postmen, remaining Government 
officials. The next office was opened 
Oct. 10, 1842, on premises very nearly 
opposite, and which at one perio'l 
formed part of the new Royal Hotel. 
The site is now covered by the 
Colonn de, the present convenient, 
but not beautiful, Central Post Office, 
in I'aradise Street, being opened Sep. 
28, 1873. There are 65 town receiving 
offices (52 of which are Money Order 
Offices and Savings' Banks and 13 Tele- 
graph Stations), and 103 pillar and wall 
letter-boxes. Of sub-offices in the sur- 
rounding districts there are 64, of which 
more ilian half are Money Order Offices 
or Telegraph Offices. For the coniucr 
of the Central Office, Mr. S. Walliker, 
tin; postmaster, has a staff numbering 
nearly 300, of whom about 250 are 
letter carriers and sorters. The Central 
Postal Telegraph Office, in Cannon 
Street, is open day and night, and the _ 
Central Post Office, in Paradise Street, 
from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Sun- 
day the latter office is open only 
from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m , but letters 
are dispatched by the night mails 
as on other days The Head 
Parcels Post Office is iti Hill Street, on 
the basement floor of tiie Central Post 
Office, from which there are four collec- 
tions and deliveries daily. 

Postal Notes.— In 1748 letters 
were conveyed from here by post on 
six days a week instead of three as pre- 
viously. To help pay the extra ex- 
pense it was enacted that any person 
sending letters by private hands should 
be liable to a fine of £5 for every letter. 
—In 1772 a letter sent by "express" 
post was charged at the rate of 3d. per 
mile, with a 61. fee for each stage and 
2s. 6d. for the sending off".— Mails for 
tke Continent were made up fort- 
nightly, and once a month for North 
America —In 1780, when James Watt 
was at Truro and Boulton at Birming- 
ham, it took thirteen days for the one 
to write to and get an answer from 
the other, and on one _occasion a sin- 



SHOWEM. S DICTIOXAllY oK lUUMIXGUAM. 



251 



f;lc letter was eleven ilaj's on the road. 
—A lo(?al "penny post " was com- 
mence'! Septcnber 4, 1793, but there 
was only one delivery per day and the 
distance was confined to one mile from 
the office. — The pcstag.; on letters for 
London was reduced to 7d., December 
1, 1796, but (and for many years after) 
if more than one fiiece of pip'r was 
used the cost was doubled. — In 1814 
the postage of a letter from here to 

Warwick was 7d. — The system of 
"franking" letters was aboli<hed in 
1839. This was a peculiar privilege 
which noblemen, Members of Parlii- 
ment, and high dignitaries posse.-sed 
of frc'j postage for all their correspon- 
dence, and verj- strange use they made 
of the privilege sometimes, one in- 
stance being the case of two maid- 
servants going as laundresses to an 
Ambassador who were thus " franked " 
to their destination. This privilege 
cost the Post office about £100,000 a 
year. — The penny postige system of 
Rowland Hill came into operation 
January lOtli, 1840.— In 1841-2 there 
were only two deliveries ])tr day 
in the centre of the town, and 
but one outside the mile circle, 
an extra pen y being charged 
on letters po.sted in town for delivery 
in the outer districts.— The collection 
of a million postage stamps for the 
Queen's Hospital closed Sep. 5, 1859. — 
Halfpenny stamps for new-pipers 
were first used in 1870. — The tele- 
graphs were taken to by the Post 
Office in 1876, the first soiree in 
relebration thereof being held at 
Bristol Street Board School, Jan. 
•29, 1877.— The Inland Parcels Post 
came into operation on August 1, 
1883, the numbjr of parcels passing 
through our local office being about 
4,000 the first daj, such trifles as 
Vieehives, umbrellas, shoes, scj^thes, 

baskets of strawberries, &c. , &c. , be- 
ing among them. The number of 
valentines posted in Birmingham on 
Cupid's Day of 1844 was estimated 
at 125,000 (the majority for local de- 



livery), being nbout 20,000 more than 
ill the ])revious year. 

P0W8P.— That the letting of mill- 
power w.uld bo a great advantage to 
hundreds of the small masters whose in- 
finitu'le of productions adile<l so enor- 
mouslj' to the aggregate of our losal 
trade was soon "twigged" by the 
early owners of steam engines. The 
first engine to have extra shafting at- 
tached for this purpose was that made 
by Newcomen for a Mr. Twigg in 
Water Street (the premis s are covered 
bv Muntz's metal works now), who, in 
1760, advertised that he iiad "power 
to let." 

Presentations. —No local anti- 
quarian has yet given us note of the 
first public presentation made by the 
inhabitants of this town, though to 
the men they have delighted to honour 
they have never been backward with 
such flattering and pleasing tokens of 
goodwill. Some presentations have 
been rather curious, such as gold- 
plated buttons and ornate slioe buckles 
to members of tlie Royal Family in 
hopes that the patronage of those 
individuals would lead to changes in 
the fashion of dress, and so influence 
local trade. The gift of a sword to 
Lord Nelson, considering that the said 
sword had been presented previously to 
a volunteer officer, was also of this 
nature. The Dissenters of the town 
gave £100 to the three troops of Liglit 
Horse who first arrived to ipiell the 
riots in 1791, and a similar sum was 
voted at a town's meeting ; each officer 
being presented witii a handsome 
swoid. Trade should have been good 
at the time, for it is further recorded 
that each magistrate received a piece 
of plate valued at one hundred guineas, 
— Since that date there liave been 
hundreds of presentations, of greater 
or lesser v:»lue, made to doctors ami 
divines, soldiers and sailors, theatricals 
and concert-hall men, lavvjers and 
prizefighters, with not a few to popular 
politicians and leading literary men 
&c. Lord Brougham (then plain Mr. 



252 



SHOWELL S DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



beiug the recipient at one time (July 
7, 1812) ; James Day, of the Coimert 
Hall, atanother(Oct.l, 1878); the "Tip- 
ton Slasher " was thus honoured early 
in 1865, while the Hon, and Very Rev. 
Grantham Yorke, D.D., was "gifted " 
at the latter end of 1875. Among the 
presentations of later date liave been 
those to Dr. Bell Fletcher, Mr. 
Ganigee, Mr. W. P. Goodall,an(i other 
medical gentlemen ; to Canon O'SuHi- 
van, the late Rev. J. C. Barratt, and 
other clergymen ; to Mr. Edwin Smith, 
secretary of Midland Institute ; to Mr. 
Sclinadhorst of the Liberal Associa- 
tion ; to Mr. Jesse CoIIings, for having 
upheld the right of free speech by 
turning out of the Town Hall thosj 
who differed with the speakers ; and 
to Jolin Bright in honour of his having 
represented the town in Parliament 
for twenty-five years. — On April 30, 
1863, a handsome silver repousse table 
was presented to the Princess of Wales 
on the occasion of her marriage, the 
cost, £1,500, being subscribed by in- 
habitants of the town. 

Price of Bread. — At various times 
during the pretent century the four- 
pound loaf has been sold here as fol- 
lows :— At 4id. in 1852 ; at 7id. in 
1845; at Q^d. in June, 1857, and 
June, 1872 ; at lOd. in December, 
1855, June, 1868, and Dec<>mber, 1872 ; 
at lOid. in February, 1854, Decem- 
ber, 1855, December, 1867, and March, 
1868 , at lid. in December, 1854, 
June, 1855, and June 1856 ; at ll^d. 
in November, 1846, May and Novem- 
ber, 1847, and May, 1848 ; at Is. and 
onwards to Is. 52d. in August, 1812, 
and again in July, 1816 ; and ma}' 
God preserve the poor from such times 
again. — See ^^ Hard Times." 

Prices of Provisions, &c.— In 

1174, wheat and barh-y sold at "Warwick 
for 2^d. per bushel, hogs at Is. 6d. each, 
cows (salted down) at 2s. cacli, and 
salt at l|d. per bushel. In 1205 wheat 
was worth 12 pence per bushel, which 
was cheap, as there had been some 
years of famine previous thereto. In 



] 390 wheat was sold at 13d. per bushel, 
so high a price that historians say there 
was a "dearth of corn " at that period. 
From accounts preserved of the sums 
expended at sundry ptiblic feasts at 
Coventry (Anno 1452 to 1464) we find 
that 2s. 3d. was paid foi 18 gallons of 
ale, 2s. 6d. for 9 geese, 5d. for 2 lambs, 
5d. lor a calf, lOd. for 9 chickens, 3d. 
for a shoulder of mutton. Is. 3d. for 
46 pigeons, 8d. for a strike of wheat 
and grimiing it, &c. An Act of Parlia- 
ment (24, Henry VIII.) was passed in 
1513 that beef and poik should be sold 
at a half-penny per pound. In 1603 it 
was ordered tliat one quart of best ale, 
or two of small, should be sold for one 
penny. In 1682 the prices of provisions 
were, a fowl Is., a chicken 5d. , a rabbit 
7d. ; eggs three for Id. ; best fresh 
butter, 6d. per lb. ; ditto salt butter, 
Sgd. ; mutton Is. 4J. per stone of 81b i 
beef, Is. 6d. per stone ; lump sugar. 
Is. per lb. ; candles, 3^d. per lb. ; 
coals, 6d. per sack of 4 bushels ; 
ditto charcoal, is. 2d. best, 8d. the 
smallest. Wheat averaged 50s. per 
quarter, but the greatest part of the 
population lived almost entirely on rye,, 
barley, oats, and pe'^s. Cottages in 
tlie country were let at about 20s. per 
annum. In 16S4 a pair of shoes cost 3s. 
6d. : a pair of stocking.*, Is. 4d. ; two 
shirts, 5s. 4d. ; leither breeches, 2s. ;. 
coat, waistcoat, and breeclies, I6s. ; a 
coffin, 5s. ; a shroud and a grave for a 
poor man, 3-i. lOd. In November, 1799, 
the quartern loaf was sold in London, at 
Is. lO^d. and in this town at Is. 4d. , 
the farmers coming here to market 
having to be protected by constables 
for months togetlicr. 

Priory. — History gives us very 
little information respecting the Hos- 
pital or Priory of St. Tliomas the 
Apostle [See " Old Square "] and still 
less as the Church or Chapel of St. 
Thomas the Martyr. The site of the 
Priory was most probably where the 
Old Square was laid out, though dur- 
ing the many alterations that have 
latterly been made not a single stone 
has been discovered to prove it so. A 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



253 



few bones were found during tlie 
months of Aug. and Sept., 1884, 
and it is said tliat manj' years back a 
(juantity of similar remains were 
ilisjovercd while cellars w re being 
made under some of the houses in 
Bull Street, and one late writer speaks 
of c-jllars or crypts, which were hastily 
built up again. From these few traces 
it is not unlikely that tlie Chapel 
existed somewhere between the 
Minories and Steelhouse Lane, 
monkish chants probably resounding 
where now tue members of the Societ}' 
of Friends sit in silent prayer. Ancient 
records tell us that in 1285 three per- 
sons (William of Birmingham, Thomas 
of Maidenhacche,anii Rauulphof Rug- 
by) gave 23 acres of land at Aston and 
Saltley (then spelt Saluteleye) for the 
"endowment" of the Hospital of St. 
Thomas the Apostle, but that lather 
goes to prove the previous existence of 
a religious edifice instead of liating its 
foundation. In 1310 the Lord ot Bir- 
miugham gave an ad itional 22 acres, 
and many others added largely at the 
time, a full list of these donors Ijeing 
given in Toulmin Smith's " ilemorials 
of old Birmingham." In 1350, 
70 acres in Birmingham parish and 
30 acres in Aston were added to the 
possessions of the Priory, which by 
1547, when all were confiscated, must 
have become of great value. The prin- 
cipal porcioiis of the Priory lands in 
Aston and Saltley went to enrich the 
Holte family, one (if not the chief) 
recipient being the brother-in-law of 
Sir Thomas Holte ; but the grounds 
and land surrounding the Priory and 
Chapel appear to have been gradually 
sold to others, the Smallbroke family 
acquiring the chief pan. The ru'ns of 
the old buildings doubtless formed a 
public stonequarry for the builders of 
the 17th century, as even Hutton can 
speak of but few relics bein^ left in his 
time, and those he carefully made use 
of himself ! From the mention in an 
old deed of an ancient well called the 
" Scitewell " (probably Saints' Well "), 
the Priory grounds seem to have ex- 



tended along Dale End to the Butts 
(Stafford Street), where the water was 
sufficiently abundant to require a 
bridge. It was originally intended to 
have a highly-respectable street in the 
neighbourhood named St. Thomas 
Street, after the name of the old 
Priory, a like proviso being made when 
John Street was laid out for building. 
PpiSOnS. — Before the incorporation 
of the borough all offenders in the 
Manor of Aston were confined in 
Bordesley Prison, otherwise "'Tarte's 
Hole" (I'rom the name of one of the 
keepers), situate in High Street, 
Bordesley. It was classed in 1802 as 
one of the worst gaols in the kingdom. 
The prison was in the backyard of the 
keeper's house, and it comprised two 
dark, damp dungeons, twelve feet by 
seven feet, to which access was gained 
through a trapdoor, L'vel with the 
yard, and down ten steps. The only 
light or air that could reach these cells 
(which sometimes were an inch deep in 
water) was through a single iron-grated 
aperture about a foot square. For 
petty offenders, runaway apprentices, 
and disobedient servants, tliere were 
two other rooms, opening into the 
yard, each about twelve feet square. 
Prisoners' allowance was 4d. per 
day and a rug to cover them at 
night on their straw. In 180D the use 
of the underground rooms was put a 
stop to, and the churchwardens allowed 
the prisoners a shilling per day for sus- 
tenance. Those sentenced to the stocks 
or to be whipped received their punish- 
ments in the street oppo.site the 
prison, and, if committed for trial, 
were put in leg- irons until called 
for by '■ the runners." The place 
was used as a lock-up for some 
time after the incorporation, and 
the old irons were kept on show for 
years. — The old Debtors' Prison in 
1802 was in Philip Street, in a little 
back courtyard, not fourteen feet 
square, and it consisted of one damp, 
dirty dungeon, ten feet by eleven feet, 
at the bottom of a descent of seven 
steps, with a sleeping-room, about same 



•251 



SFIOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHA.M. 



size, over it. In these rooms mile and 
female alike were confined, at one time 
to the number of fifteen ; each being 
allowed 3d. per day by their parishes, 
and a little straw on the floor at night 
for bedding, unless they chose to pay 
the keeper 2s. a week lor a bed in his 
house. In 1809 the debtors were re- 
moved to the Old Court Hou.se 
[See '^ Court of Jlequests'^], where 
the sleeping arrangements were of a 
better character. Howard, the "Prison 
Philanthropist," visited the Philip 
Street prison in 1782, when he found 
that the prisoners were not allowed to 
do any work, enforced idleness (as well 
as semi-starvation) being part of the 
punishment. He mentions the case of 
a shoemaker who was incarcerated for 
a debt of Los., vvhich the keeper of the 
prison had to pay through kindly 
allowing the man to finish some work 
he had begun before being locked up. 
In these enlightened days no man is 
imprisoned for owing money, but only 
because he does not pay it when told 
to do so. — See also '^ Dunrjeoii" and 
" Gaols." 

Privateenng".— Most likely there 
was s >me truth in the statement that 
chains and shackles were made liere 
for the slave-ships of former days, and 
froui the following letter written to 
Mattliew Boulton in October, 1778, 
there can be little doubt but that he 
at least had a share in some of the 
privateering exploits of the time, 
though living so far from a seaport : — 
'• One of tlie vessels our little brig 
took last year was fitted out at New 
York, and in a cruise of thirteen weeks 
has taken thirteen piizes, twelve of 
which are carried safe in, and we have 
advice of 200 hogsheads of tobacco 
being shipued as part of the prizes, 
vvhich if now here would fetch us 
£10,000," &c. 

Progress of .the Town.— Tiie 

Borougli Surveyor favours us yearly 
with statistics giving the number of 
new buildings erected, or for which 
]<iiins have been approved, and to show 



liow rapidly the town is [)rogressing in 
extent, we give a few of the figures. 
The year 1854 is memorable in the 
building trade, as there were 2,219 
new houses erected, the .iverage for 
years after not being 1,000. In 1861 
the numberw.isbut952; in 1862, 1,350: 
in 1863, 1,694; in 1864, 1,419; in 
1865, 1,036 ; in 186G, 1,411 ; in 1867. 
1,408 ; in 1868, 1,548 ; in 1869, 1,709 ; 
in 1870, 1,324; in 1871, 1.076; in 
1872, 1,265 ; in 1873, 993. The build- 
ing report for the last ten years is 
thus tabulated : — 

CO |QO(N>-li-H COl^C 

CO I c<3 t-— a> >i 

00 I OS r 



1 


1 


O 


■-1 in 

O (N 
r-l <N 


^ 


■^ 




^O o 

OJ 03 


CO 


-o 


CO 


a> CD 


ul 


to 


o 


CO (M 


<N 




o 

00 


00 1^ 



— ' i-< CM Ci CO (M t^ 



a..a^^ 



t^ 3 O 
5 O 2 



— X d 3 cfi 0) 
OS ^ ^ ^ 03 



o ^ ^ u - 

WoomS 



^< 



SHOWELLS DICTIONARY OF BIRMINGHAM. 



255 



Under the heading of " Miscellaneous " 
are included such erections as libraries, 
public halls, clubs, arcades, slaughter- 
liouses, cowsheds, and all otlier neces- 
sary and useful buildings a})pertaiuing 
to human hives, but which need not be 
particularised. 

Probate.— The Probate Registry 
Office is at No. 15, Old Scjuare. 

Promenades —When Corporation 
Street is tiiiished, and its pathways 
nicely shaded with green-leaved trees, 
it wiil doubtless be not only the chief 
business street of the town, but also 
the most po{)uIar promenade. At 
present tlie gay votaries of dress and 
fashion piiucipaliy lioiiour New Street, 
especially on Saturday mornings. 
Hagley Road, on Sunday evenings, is 
particularly affected by some as their 
favourite promenade. 

Proof House— The foundation 
stone of the I'roof House, Banbury 
Street, was laid October 4th, 1813, 
the yearly nun. bar of gun, rifle, and 
pistol barrels proved at the establish- 
ment averages over half a million. — • 
See " Trades " 

Property.— The Birmingham Pro- 
perty Owners* and Ratepayers' Pro- 
tection Association was formed in May, 
1872. Out of 70,000 separate assess- 
ments the owners pay the rates in more 
than 50.000 cases. 

Provident Dispensaries. — See 

" Dispensaries." 

Provident Societies. — S